The ESP Process in Getting Fit–Part 1

The weight loss journey. What can I say? Or what can’t I say? What a journey it is! I’ve tried it all.  Well, maybe not all.  But trust me. I’ve tried a lot of things out there. Like programs that teach you to follow a point system. Kinda like calorie counting. The difference is you get to know just how many points each food has on your chart.  It’s easier than to memorize the number of calories.  I joined that program more than once. And I know others who have also. We had something in common. We gained all the weight back.  There are others things I’ve tried, but this blog isn’t about that.

Several months ago I cried out to God. It wasn’t the first time I had asked for help.  But I must say, it was a cry that was fueled by the frustration within me.  I was tired. Tired of being overweight. Tired of feeling tired. Tired of failing at trying. Tired of not fitting into clothes. Tired of feeling out of shape. Tired of achy joints. Tired of achy feet. I was tired. Just plain tired.

So. I did what most of us do when we’re tired. I cried. I don’t remember what I said to God or to myself.  I may have just said I was tired. When I was done venting as I cleaned up my room, my eyes were drawn to a page from a magazine that was sitting on my night table. On it were the words, “The passion is the process.”

God has a way of getting our attention. It makes no sense to pay attention to the negative stuff.  He’s not a negative God. He’s a loving God. When I read those words, I knew immediately that my loving heavenly Father was telling me something. He was saying that there was a process.  And I knew there would be a passion birthed in the process.

I am a passionate person. I like to learn.  And my desire is to take whatever I’ve learned to help others. Tis the reason for the blog. This is my journey. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s knowing that getting fit and living a healthy life style has a process in it just like everything else in life.

I call it the ESP process. Don’t worry. This has nothing to do with reading minds. For me, this process has been an Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical process.

And that’s where I’ll start–Emotions!  Emotions are tricky.  They can lie to us. And we can develop unhealthy habits as we respond to different emotions.  Some of it is learned behavior.  Some of it is due to what our parents did for us when we were growing up. Many of us were rewarded with food.  There were good intentions behind it, but somewhere in our world of emotions, we kept a file folder labeled emotions.  And in it are the yummy meals or desserts that had to do with special occasions. That’s just one example.

Then there’s the PMS chocolate savory escape. We’ve heard it more than once. Women giving an excuse for bad choices. I’m not saying that we don’t have such cravings.  I’m just saying that perhaps if we paid more attention to that and why we’re doing things, we’d realize where most of our problems start.

The very first step in the emotional process for me was to cry.  After that I had to make a choice. I had to decide if I was going to allow my sadness, frustration, anger, or discouragement drive me to another piece of chocolate cake or if it was going to drive me to the person I am.  I am a conqueror.  And when I set my mind on the truth that I can overcome, I set myself up for victory by taking the first step in the right direction. That’s when my emotions take the back seat and my determination takes the wheel.


Competition Will Get You Nowhere!

I was 19 or 20 years old. A newlywed. My husband and I had just joined a gym.  There we were working out.  There was only one problem. It was that time of the month for me, and I was feeling pretty tired.  My husband, being the focused strength-driven and inspiring kind of guy that he is, tried hard to keep me lifting weight by yelling whatever he did that day in his gym voice to keep me from giving up.  The more I said, “I can’t,” the more he yelled it.  So. Being the newlywed couple that we were, we decided to just ignore each other in a way.  He felt frustrated because in his eyes I wasn’t trying hard enough. And I felt frustrated because he didn’t understand me.

We then moved our workout to the cardio section. He got on one bike and I got on another.  There was one problem. At minute two (literally) into the exercise I found myself feeling weak.  I remember a girl on the treadmill to my left.  She looked like she had it altogether. And Joe was to my right. As I pedaled, I felt like my legs got weaker and weaker. I didn’t want to say anything to Joe and I most definitely didn’t want to look like a loser to the girl next to me. So. I had a brilliant idea (NOT.) I thought if I could just speed up my pedaling every time I felt weak, I could just keep going and noone would notice my struggle. That way I wouldn’t look like an idiot either.

There was no way that I could keep going.  The more I tried the “brilliant” idea I thought I had, the more my husband (who was not speaking to me) on my right and the girl on my left looked at me funny. I was determined to keep it up.  And I did.  Maybe for just a maximum of two more minutes when suddenly the sounds in the room started to fade.

I was about to pass out. Still trying to fake it and act like I had it altogether, I turned to my husband and with the little bit of strength I had left I said, “When I say go, go.” My lips felt like they were in slow motion. In fact, so did everything else around me. He looked at me and asked, “What?” as he kept pedaling.  That’s when I repeated, “When I say go, go.”  At that point, he realized I was desperate.

We immediately walked out of the gym to splash some water on my face and talk. We both were no longer upset. And my loving husband was apologetic and concerned. Little did I know that there was a trainer who was probably watching us the whole time.

It is a classic and funny story in our family which still makes us laugh every time it’s told.

My point? Competition will get us nowhere. It will cause us to look at others and lose focus on our own journeys.  Good for those who can walk for hours on a treadmill.  And good for those who can lift heavy. And good for those who seem like they are doing everything right and getting results at whatever they are doing.

You are you.  I am me.  We need to get to the point that no matter what we’re surrounded with or who we’re surrounded by, we can’t take our eyes off our own journey.  Because our journey will have a story and song of its own.