Made to Crave :18 (exercise…ugh)

Chapter 9 of the Made to Crave book may well be my favorite so far.  I almost feel as if Lysa read my mind and heart and put those thoughts in her book.

Look at the title of the chapter:

But exercise makes me want to cry.

I love this chapter!

Here is a record of the minutes I’ve exercised over the past three months! Every single minute was worth it, even if it was a challenge for this exercise-hatin’ girl.

Exercise is not my favorite past time.  I don’t look forward to it, usually.  But I will admit, the more regularly I exercise, the less I hate it.  I actually looked forward to a run the other night.  I looked at myself in the mirror questioning the exact emotions I was having. I wanted to get out in the fields to run.  I was perplexed that I was feeling eager to do this… It was totally unlike me.  And that desire to run hasn’t hit me again, but I enjoyed that moment while I had it.  The run turned out great, I almost set a new PR, and I ran farther than I set out to.  It was great.  But usually, exercise makes me want to cry.

I have always envied people who love it, who have fun doing it, and would rather be running than _______.  I’m not that way.  You could put almost anything in that blank and reverse the sentence and it’d be true of me.

I have so many quotes from this chapter that I want to share with you, but at the same time, I don’t want to give away so much of her text that you don’t read her book!  Please, read this book!

Lysa talks about the excuses we make and the valid reasons we have for gaining weight and getting out of shape.  She shared how she worked hard to convince herself that she was fine the way she was.  Before she started her journey she would say to herself:

The world has sold us women a bill of goods that to be good we have to be skinny.  I am too concerned with my spiritual growth to be concerned by petty issues such as weight and exercise.  God loves me just the way I am.

She goes on to say “If I was honest with myself, my issue was plain and simple – a lack of self-control.”

Yep.  That’s it.  Unfortunately that was my issue as well.

After reading through this book I did what Lysa did.  I looked at exercise as an act of obedience to God instead of a method to shrink.  I knew that the advice of my trainer was good and would give me results.  I needed to follow her advice, which would take care of the physical side of things.  I then needed to change my attitude from “I have to exercise,” to, “Out of my desire to be obedient to You, I get to excercise today.”  In the process I have been more and more thankful for the ability I have, the strength I have, the health I have, that allows me to exercise.  At first I was forcing my attitude to be positive and in time my attitude became positive on its own.  I guess it went from “I’m gonna have a good attitude whether I like it or not” to “I actually am grateful for my health.”

At one point Lysa wrote that she cannot have divided loyalties.  She said, “I can either be loyal to honoring the Lord with my body or loyal to my cravings, desires, and many excuses for not exercising.”  The note I added to that said:

“God, I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m going to continue to lose weight and then get lazy again.  And yet yesterday I had a moment that encouraged me to believe that this change has been a spiritual one that can last.  I despise exercise and wish it weren’t necessary.  I wish I could love it.  I wish I didn’t feel depressed at the thought of it and then fully thrilled at having done it.  But maybe that’s one more place I can grow spiritually closer to You.  Every time I pop in an Insanity DVD or step out for a run, I am in line with Your will for me.  I know the benefits are rewarding and ultra beneficial but I still hate to exercise. I would love to have You transform me into someone who actually loves to exercise but in the case that You don’t, God, I ask You for the strength and determination to do it anyway, as an act of obedience to You.”

I wrote that on June 25th, three weeks into my journey.  I am now over three months into this and, while I still don’t love exercise, the hatred of it has diminished some and the rewarding feeling after exercise has increase a bit.  Lysa hit the nail on the head with this:  “I want to lift up to the Lord whatever willingness I have each day and dedicate my exercise as a gift to Him and a gift to myself.”  That’s worth the price of the book, right there!

Lysa then talks about the Israelites building the temple.  God had yet to send Jesus to earth to die for our sins.  God’s presence actually lived in the temple and the Israelites were lazy and not motivated to work on it.  Now that we are the temple of God, there are obvious correlations to us not working on His temple, being too lazy and unmotivated to work on it.  Fantastic illustration!

We make time for what we really want to do.  We all have time to exercise, we just choose to do other things.

I loved this chapter so much I’m going to save my responses to the “Personal Reflections” section for another post.  For now, I just really want to say how glad I am that someone else who hates to exercise as much as I do has found success and long-term victory as a result of dedicating this area of her life to the Lord.  It gives me hope that my own attitude changes, dedication, and hard work can be life long.  I’m already past the point I usually give up, which was about a month ago.  I don’t plan on quitting my exercising and I don’t foresee adding breads to every meal like they used to be.  I have hope that I have made long-lasting changes!

Update on my journey:  I have lost a total of 31 lbs since early June, and am down about 2 1/2 sizes.  I need to lose a little more to go down one that last half-size.  (I did buy a single pair of shorts in my new-new size to give me at least one pair of shorts I can wear without a belt.  They’re a little baggy now, but I have a feeling one size down {the new-new-new size} would be a bit snug.)

I have met and surpassed my original goal and and the goal my trainer set for me is only one pound away.  The updated goal I set for myself midway through this journey, the goal that I thought would be practically impossible to reach, is only six pounds away!

I am trying to figure out how to fit exercise into our Italy trip… 16 days of vacation are coming up soon!  I have a very encouraging friend who told me that since I’ve been doing this for so long, four and a half months by the time I leave, that I should be just fine.  It would be harder for me if I had just started this journey a few weeks ago and then tried to go on a trip like this.  I’m holding tight to that encouragement, and I want to make her proud of me… so I’ll do my best.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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