Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter, train tracks, and weight loss

What kind of week will this be for you? You get to choose, you know...maybe you don't get to choose all your circumstances, but you at least get to choose your responses, your countenance, your level of joy.

Sunday was the first day of Holy Week for Christians. It is also the last week of my Biggest Loser competition. Faced with a lot of topics for reflection!

2010 has been challenging so far. No complaints - just a statement of fact. Cancer, relationship issues, financial issues - lots of negative energy flying around, trying to bring people down.

This week can, in many ways, be an end and a beginning...a microcosm of life.

I like to imagine this journey being like a train track. One side has good stuff, positive vibes. The other side, well, not so much. It takes BOTH tracks to carry the train - there is no way to get around that. But we get to choose which track receives the most focus. We get to decide if the journey will be marred or even ruined by our focus on the squeaky, nasty track.

One of the primary tenets of our Christian faith is that we win by surrendering, we gain by giving away. Job, a man who had every right, in the eyes of human beings, to despise God instead reminded himself that God gives and He takes away, and still His name is blessed.

Gaining by losing weight has been a physical challenge, but the benefits of the Biggest Loser contest are easy to take.

Not so with everything.

In this week when we celebrate Jesus' greatest gift, I need to remember some things...

People are sometimes cruel and nasty, they bring sorrow and pain...but God will take that, if I let Him, and He will bring a new measure of love and comfort and peace.

Cancer might bring a change of schedule, a number of surgeries, nausea, a bald head...but God will take that, if I let Him, and He will bring beloved support people, laughter in unusual circumstances, joy in being alive, freedom from small things that used to be annoying but are now just inconsequential in the big scheme.

Financial issues can be stressful and scary...but God will take them, if I let Him, and He will keep his promise to sustain me, to care for me, to keep my feet from falling.

When I focus on the sweet track, not the squeaky track, there is no loss that is not offset by gain. I simply need to make the right choice.

I can focus on the challenges or on the sweetness. It can be new joy or old sorrow.

But it's my choice...and yours.

Gotta go...the train is pulling out

Friday, March 12, 2010

Putting Myself in Position and Other Fitness Tips

More wisdom from the Wii fitness instructor today..."exercising every day helps improve your posture."

It is one of the trainer's frequently repeated blurbs. Certainly a true statement.

Several things have surprised me as my exercise regimen continues into its third month. My muscle memory is apparently long-term, and some muscle groups have responded quickly to frequent work. I am thankful they "remember" being in shape, working hard, staying firm.

The habit of regular exercise has been re-established, and now I suffer physically when I don't exercise. rather than being stiff and sore when I do.

Much information exists detailing how vital the core muscles are to overall health. Digestion and balance improve dramatically with a stronger core. Obviously, posture improves as well. Notice the folks you pass today. How many have really BAD posture? Young and old alike. Every function is controlled, either voluntarily or involuntarily, by active that passes through the spinal region. Shouldn't we give our brain and nerves a clear path, a spine that is well supported and aligned?

Daily exercise helps improve your posture...and a whole lot more.

This is also sound advice for life in general. Physical daily exercise? Sure.

But putting ourselves in position, correcting our posture in other areas is also imperative. Often this is more overwhelming than a commitment to exercise.

Financially, emotionally, spiritually, professionally...all these areas require their own form of regular exercise. Personally, I have, at one time or another, neglected each of them.

How about you? Have you been lax in any of these areas?

Hard to get back on track isn't it? Just like physical exercise, the beginning stages can be rough. Focusing on this day's requirements is all I can do most days.

And maybe that is the key.

TODAY, I will acknowledge the space on which I stand. For the most part, I am here because of my own choices - choices of either action or attitude or both.

ALL I CAN DO on this day is put myself in position for good things to happen. Exercise in whatever way possible to improve myself just 1%.

1% improvement...that's it.

Is that challenge too big? In the 16-18 hours I am awake, I will be mindful of making choices that will improve my position 1%. Not back-sliding, not standing still...but not doing everything at once either.

Try it.

After a couple weeks you will notice your head is a bit higher, your countenance a bit lighter, your back a bit straighter...all from a 1% increase per day in whatever areas you need it.

Yes, Wii trainer, you are correct: exercising daily improves your posture!

See you tomorrow...Beth