Getting into shape could mean that if you are currently not working out, you may have to begin. If you already follow a work out program this could mean working out longer, harder, or incorporating training that will "shock" the body. Something I've learned from my very knowledgeable trainer, Tommy Jones, owner of Jones 4 Sports & Fitness Training, is that you have to constantly mix up your workouts. I trained with him consistently for over a year and a half. During the first year, I saw results, especially in my endurance, but couldn't understand why I wasn't leaning out. After sharing my frustration with him, he said, "DIET!" This is not how most of us think of the term diet as, "Oh, I need to go on a diet," but diet, as in what you eat has to be in balance with how you work out. The change in your diet must become a lifestyle change.
That is what I did in June 2011, I challenged myself to a 30 day lifestyle change. I cut out a lot of things from my diet, such as sugars, salt, high caloric dressings, breads, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats. I began to eat "clean." You can find more information about clean eating at "The Eat-Clean Diet".
It Works! I began this permanent lifestyle change on June 20, 2011 and by July 21, 2011 the following before and after results were recorded:
Weight: 153 to 144 (Loss of 9 lbs)
Chest: 35.5" to 34” (Decrease of 1.5”)
Waist: 32" to 28.5” (Decrease of 3.5”)
Hips: 37.5" to 35” (Decrease of 2.5”)
Arms: 9.5” to 9.75” (Increase of .25”)
Thigh: 19.5" to 19.25 (Decrease of .25”)
Calf: 14.5" to 14 (Decrease of .5”)
BMI: 27% to 29% (Increase of 2% - Was told it could be to water retention)
Water percentage: 51.1% to 49% (Decrease of 2.1%) - Need to drink more H2O!
During this 30 day challenge my workout regimen included working out an average of 5 days a week that included boot camps 3x a week that lasted 60-90 minutes, and two days of personal training that included strength training anywhere between 60-90 minutes.
In those 30 days, I did not cheat with my eating, and stayed consistent in my workouts. The biggest area I notice a change was the stomach. My love handles diminished, and the internal change was that I had a lot more energy.
Your training does not have to be as intense to get results. I already had a workout routine in place and had been training with Tommy for some time. If you aren't working out, just start small. Take a 15 minute walk or try jogging/running for about 15 minutes. If you get winded, walk. The biggest obstacle you will endure is not so much the workout itself, but your mind telling you that you "can't" keep going. Don't listen, it's a lie! Your body is an amazing machine. Just think about how it heals itself when it's sick or what each cell goes through just to create movement.
Working out your mental fitness is just as important as the physical part. I learned that in addition to the physical workouts, I also had to workout mentally though finding accountability partners and finding inspiration through other avenues. This could include, blogs, friends, a trainer, a workout group, music or like for me, in Jesus Christ.
So here I am in 2013 and weighing about 148. I have not been following the strict workout or nutrition regimen I had back in 2011. For the past 8 months I've been dealing with minor health issues, physically recovering from an intense 8 month training program in preparation for a full distance Ironman triathlon as well as improving the overall health of my personal life, finances, family, mental health, bible school and study, but most importantly making Christ as the main focus and center in my life! My life is no longer about a self absorbed me or about over the top workouts that focused on an image of myself which became extremely unhealthy because I was never satisfied. I recently shared with a close friend that I always needed to be better and have more. I always compared myself to others. I didn't know how to be content with who I was or where I was at the moment.
Today I try to live in the present. The past is gone and I can't worry about tomorrow because it isn't even here. Focus on the moment. I continue to set goals for my future and learn from my past mistakes but I no longer obsess over either one. My life will unfold exactly as it should. As I continue to challenge myself with the gifts I've acquired over my lifetime, I find that today I'm ready for a new one; a challenge I wish to extend to anyone. Find your "S.H.A.P.E." in 30 Days.
By this I mean, find your physical and spiritual shape. Accountability can begin here and continue through a network of friends, through blogging, e-mail communications, Facebook updates; it can be done however you choose. Find someone or some way to become accountable.
Begin by sitting down and taking the time to write a plan. Plan your workouts for 30 days. Plan your meals for 30 days. Take one day at a time, and if you miss a workout or slip up on your nutrition, don't give up. Remember, the past is gone, so even the minute that just went by, it's gone! Don't worry about tomorrow. Focus on now and see your short term vision.
Mine is to focus on Christ because all I do, honoring my body is for his glory not mine. My body is a temple, it does not belong to me and is not something for others to worship but it is a temple for Christ, and to be used to worship Him.
As I begin this 30 day challenge, implementing a consistent clean eating diet and workout plan, I will also be cleansing my mind through daily spiritual renewal and beginning a new book titled, "S.H.A.P.E. - Finding & Fulfilling your unique purpose for Life" by Erik Rees. As posted in my last blog on transformation, I'm "Putting in a New Program". As I begin this new chapter of my life in understanding my spiritual shape, you may wonder what is your Spiritual Shape?
Spiritual Gifts (You can do a survey at Ephesians Four Ministries.)
Heart (This is your values/passions you love to do that makes life worth living)
Abilities (Both natural talents and life gifts. It also can be gained skills or knowledge.)
Personality (This is your personality type. We are all made differently on purpose.)
Experiences (All life experiences are used by God to prepare you for future ministry & success.)
I believe understanding my shape will give me direction and light my path as to where God can use me best to service others and glorify Him ♥
My day is centered around God; prayer in the morning, continuous prayer through my day, bible verse memorization, and nightly reading of either my bible and my S.H.A.P.E. book; all which will help me grow closer to Christ.
I also will begin a 12 week bible college course on "Wholeness through Love". It will focus on loving God and others as ourselves. This course will come at a perfect time because I believe it will help me keep focused on God and not on myself through self love in a prideful way. If I seek personal praise of my accomplishments, I walk a fine line into becoming Prideful. I choose humility. My purpose is to be Christ focused and through this challenge I hope to encourage, support and give helpful advice and guidance those who wish to join me in this challenge.
I will give weekly updates and post my nutrition/workout plan along with any inspirational reading I come across during the next 30 days - Look for it to sometime next week (mid-week).
With determination, dedication, support, accountability, encouragement and God, You can do anything He wills you to do. Believe and have Faith. Find your S.H.A.P.E. ♥