And How I Could Make A Promise To Myself That I Could Keep
Why I love Trim Healthy Mama Workins exercise program:
I hate exercise. I really do. All my life, I have struggled with my weight, and now that I am approaching 40, I am starting to feel the effects of not using my body properly, and not taking very good care of it.
I know that we have a very high-stress life. With six kids and several businesses as well as being very involved in our local church, we are constantly juggling things upon things upon things.
But I have noticed my body aching when there’s no reason to, my stamina nowhere near where it should be, my sleep not even that great, waking up tired even after I have slept a full night, and so many other things that I just know that I know that it is time to address that beast in my life.
I am realizing I cannot afford to not live my best life. Even beyond living a good example for my children and the people God has put around me, it is so much more than that: if we only have one life to live, I want to resolve to make it the best.
As the new year was approaching, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to focus on for 2020. I cannot stand making promises and breaking them, so I thought very carefully before I promised myself anything. I would rather make a few small changes that I know I can keep instead of run a gamut of change that I can only keep up for a week or two and then fail miserably and spend the rest of the year condemning myself.
Right around New Year’s day, I went to bed early and congratulated myself that I had been eating pretty well and drinking more water. Around 3 o’clock in the morning my seven-year-old son came downstairs to wake me up with a bad dream, and I became acutely aware that my hip was aching very bad. It had done that at times before, and I just shrugged it off thinking it was our pace of life and all the things that come with stress and trauma.
I tried different boots, different vitamins, and shrugged it off to the cold weather and tried to ignore it away.
But in that moment in the middle of the night, it came time for me to face facts: I am not healthy because I am not exercising. My body itself was screaming at me that I was not doing what I needed to do.
For years I have wrestled with that, putting it off and putting it off and justifying it and putting it off. I was eating better, so surely that could take the place of exercise. I am chasing after kids and we have too many appointments so that I could justify it… I was too tired, too busy, So if anyone could excuse it, it was me.
I finally came to the realization that I was making excuses to not do the thing that I knew that was best for me. In that night when my hip was hurting and I needed to take care of my seven-year-old, I had to address the fact that God was sending me neon flashing signs to do the thing and I just needed to do it.
It wasn’t to punish me, it wasn’t to hurt me. It was because I needed to be the best me for this time on earth that I have.
Since I started following the principles of Trim Healthy Mama over four years ago, I had to push myself to learn new things. I love that it has biblical principles and a biblical foundation as to why they eat what they do and why the plan works, because it’s God‘s plan.
I don’t remember much about exercise in the original book, but of course I have known since first grade gym class that exercise is good for you.
I think I skimmed over those parts about exercise because I could not bear to hear it, and when we got our first foster baby and jumped into the throes of trauma and grief and appointments and no sleep from nightmares and sleepwalking, it was so easy to let that fall off my plate and address it “another time.”http://
That other time is here, and as we are settling out of foster care and into adoption, and the appointments are fading more and more, I could feel the grace lifting for me to live a sluggish and tired life.
I knew I needed to do something, and I knew it was time for a change.
About a year ago I had looked into the Workins with the intention of doing them at home two to three times a week. I figured even I could carve out that much time for my lifestyle and to make a change.
A good friend actually gave me the whole Workins set to try and I had everything I needed in order to do the exercises. They even send you the bands and supplies that you need to go with the DVD set.
I watched the first video which was much longer than the workouts, and they insist that you watch that first one before you do any exercises. This is for safety and for knowledge.
I loved the video and how it covered posture and all the things related to health and wellness. The whole point is to heal your body and strengthen it, especially the issues that women face after they have gone through childbirth and age from all the wear and tear.
I have brought four babies into this world with my own body, and the wreckage is very apparent to me. I so appreciated their honesty and their medical knowledge that helped me understand why I wanted to make myself better, and how I could make myself better.
There is even a video on that first DVD of Serene with her relaxation exercises, how to distress after a long hard day. I tried that the very same day that I watched the intro video, and it helped so much. My foster buddy had come downstairs to see what was going on with me at the TV, and as he watched Serene, he commented “Wow, that music and that girl is really so beautiful… “
I was hooked, but not committed. The overwhelm of having to do something new was still tripping me up. My 16-year-old daughter even did Clammies in my Jammies with me during that time, and we laughed and sweat and loved it but I felt more like a flop of a whale than any type of a person I could ever imagine.
I really just hated myself and my physical body, and I was disappointed and mad at myself that I wasn’t better “already”.
But that was over a year ago, and things had only gone from bad to worse in my physical body. Although our stress load has lightened from foster care and adoption, and we were in a much more stable place emotionally, and I did go back on plan several months ago and have stayed on plan very well since that time, my body was still screaming at me that it was time to do The Thing.
So during my New Year’s reflection at the beginning of the year, I sat in my mother’s rocker and read my devotional and searched for scripture.
I didn’t really need any more direction.
I knew what the Still, Small Voice was telling me.
In my mind’s eye, I sat there and thought about all the things I have done over the years that I did not want to do, but I did them anyways because I knew it was the right thing to do. All the things I did not feel like doing, but I did them anyways because it was the best thing to do. I thought of the vegetables that I have learned to eat, the soups and even the fish I have learned to make, the smoothies that I have learned to crave… All the things that I have pushed myself to do because I knew it was the next right thing to do.
Sitting in that chair, I resolved to make the commitment to myself: I was going to do the Workins at least twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the year of 2020.
I could not even say the thing out loud, or share it with Tim or Abby or the rest of the family, or any of my friends for that matter, for quite some time.
That first Tuesday I went downstairs after everybody else had left for the day, and I turned on that video by faith and went to do the thing.
These workouts are about 20 minutes, and it is amazing how these simple exercises can make you feel like you’re moving mountains.
I chose Clammies in my Jammies again, because that’s what I remembered from when Abby and I tried it out so many months ago, and I was instantly welcomed by the two sisters’ chatter and banter and laughing and explaining and welcoming.
Of course I miss my sisters so much living 600 miles away, it was so nice to be a part of the sisters and their living room atmosphere.
I hated how awful I was at the exercises, feeling like a beached, floundering whale jumping around in my pajamas with a sports bra that provides no support whatsoever…
But after the adrenaline rush and the endorphins started kicking in, I started seeing my body for what it really was: so many things that I take for granted that it allows me to do on a daily basis, even when I abuse it.
I was out of breath but feeling empowered from how it made me feel. I made it through the workout and couldn’t believe that it wasn’t as bad, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
It was sort of fun.
And I felt so, so good about what I had chosen for myself.
Thursday came along, and I did not feel like I wanted to do it.
I did it anyways. Just like I’ve learned how to make black beans and add them into some of our foods, just like I have learned how to make a kefir smoothie that strengthens me through my mornings, just like I have learned how to make fish so my children do not despise it when they are 30 something. They now get excited when they see it, and tell me how much it tastes just like chicken…
Thursday was harder to do than I remembered, but I still appreciated the laughter and the chatter and I felt like I could nail some of the exercises better than I had the days before.
The best part about the Workins is that I am not exhausted beyond the point of functioning for the day. Rather, I am strengthened and energized by the work out, and though I was sore the day after, it was not the kind of sore that you cannot move and it hurts to even move and breathe. It was so balanced and so well thought out, I knew I had to keep going. They also have three different settings, from Gentle Fit, Steady Fit and Thrill Fit.
I’m a Gentle Fit Girl all the way here, but sometimes I would challenge myself to do a few more intense moves.
When the next Tuesday came about I realized it was about me keeping my promises, and doing the things that I didn’t feel like doing even though I knew they were better for me. I pushed play by faith, and gave it my best.
I definitely got more tired earlier on in the work out, and I was afraid that I would be too tired or too sore in the next couple days, and I just couldn’t bear the thought. I gave myself permission to do the easiest setting, the gentle fit, and even at one point it felt like too much and I modified my own exercise for 15 seconds and then just challenged myself to do the last 15 seconds with them.
I have never felt more in control in my life.
Tim and Abby have been keeping a promise to themselves to go work out every Tuesday and Thursday at the YMCA ever since October, shortly after Tim had a heart attack scare that changed our lives forever.
They have faithfully kept that promise since October, missing only one day for Thanksgiving, and I am just so very proud of them.
I love that my teenage daughter goes to work out with my husband twice a week. I love what that is establishing in her life, and what it is doing for both of them, both physically and emotionally, psychologically and all the things.
I am so proud of them, and when I think of them heading there on the mornings that I stay home, it helps me to start doing the thing that I know that I need to do. If they have carved out one hour of their lives to do this, then certainly I can do 20 minutes.
They do have weights that they use in the Workins, and I had two, 2 pound weights in the storage closet from years ago I pulled out of the dust, but Pearl also uses milk jugs for her exercises, and if you like you only have to fill them halfway with water.
For now, I am content to use the 2 pound weights and just focus on my form and making it through an exercise session.
But so many things have been happening to me internally, even in my mind, giving myself a place of importance and committing to something on a schedule, I feel like I have gained so much more than my health.
This morning as we got the kids ready for school, Tim commented to me, “You really haven’t had a headache in a long time, have you?”
It was true.
Over the Christmas holiday, I struggled with a nasty headache that no medicine would fix. By the sixth day, I went to the doctor and she suspected a migraine from too much holiday stress, sugar, dehydration from travel, and all the things combined.
I was inclined to believe her and agree with her, but the medicine she sent home for me still did not fix my headache.
I had committed to myself to drink warm water with lemon since that time, and I replaced my morning coffee with that warm water with lemon every morning. Three weeks later, having that water added and now the exercise added, I have to say my hip has not ached one time, my knees are stronger than ever, and my head has not hurt since that last headache faded after nearly 2 weeks of aching.
So these are the two promises that I have made to myself through the year 2020, the year we have called “Intentional”: I am starting the day with warm water with lemon before I have my coffee or tea, and I will be doing my Workins or some type of physical activity for 20+ minutes every Tuesday and Thursday for this year. Also, When our whole family sat down on New Year’s Day to discuss our goals and hopes for 2020, one of my hopes and goals was that I would write more in the year 2020.
I do not take these promises lightly, and I have had to be so brave to myself in order to address these areas and commit to the promises.
They may seem so small to you, but I have struggled with these things for my entire life. They are huge to me.
They forced me to make myself a priority, and to stop making excuses for the things that I know I need to do.
There is no price I can pay in order to get the victory in that area in my life.
I so look forward to all the things that are going to change and going to happen in 2020, just because of my obedience to listening to that Still, Small Voice in regards to my health.
I am already sliding into 2020 so grateful for what I have purposed in my heart to establish.
I would like to encourage each and everyone of you to think about the challenges you would like to adopt in 2020 for yourself.
Pick one thing, only one thing, and purpose in your heart that is what you will change. Just start there, and do the next right thing, and know that I am rooting for you and believing with you.
Because the hard things are always worth it.
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