Tag Archives: Fitness

Passionate Social Media Posts: Did Jesus Really Say That?

Thankful for November

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made a blog post since September 2015. October 19th is when we had our federal election for a new Prime Minster of Canada. We had a long election campaign filled with hate mongering, optimistic promises, and difficult voting dilemmas. I wasn’t allowed to post political preferences on social media and I’m thankful for that. It kept me from reacting and responding to the many political posts that filled Facebook.

Politics can bring out the best and the worst in our behaviours. Political hot topics reveal a lot about who we are and what we believe. Having to remain silent about political matters during the campaign taught me a lot about remaining outwardly calm and respectful when interacting with others who hold opposite values and beliefs than I do. Internally I didn’t do as well, but I’m alright with that; I wasn’t interested in censoring my thoughts, just my words.

I have a better understanding of why Jesus didn’t spend time entertaining political debates; it’s sometimes a waste of time. By not debating or having discussions with people of opposing views, I was able to conserve some much needed energy. I was slowed down for most of October with terrible migraines. Instead of going back and forth with someone whose mind I cannot change and vice versa, I used that time and energy for things that decreased my stress levels, prevented the worsening of my migraine, and brought me happiness. I would encourage other believers to use their energy for things other than political debates and arguments. Know when a debate or discuss is healthy and when it’s not.

During one of the nastiest election campaigns that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, or at least that I can remember, some of the worst behaviour and beliefs came from self-professed Evangelical Christians. Their beliefs didn’t surprise me because I’ve been part of an Evangelical church for my entire adult life, but it was a surprise to others who were not familiar with Evangelical fundamentalist beliefs and values.

What I’d like to say to politically passionate Christians is this: Please remember that you do not represent the beliefs and values of Christ when you write posts on social media that are rooted in fear, misinformation, hatred, and meanness.

omg Becky, look!

A simple way to control yourself is to ask this question: Would I post this on Jesus’ Facebook page or Twitter account? Sounds silly, but it has stopped me on many occasions from posting reactive comments. Thank goodness for the delete button, because it has saved me from leaving some of my most stupid posts on peoples Facebook pages.

 

Ahead in November:

I’m currently in the midst of writing the advent series that I will be posting during Advent from November 29 – December 24, 2015.

I’ll also be posting part 2 of Jesus the Introvert on Sunday. I’ve been reading a lot about the spiritual nature of the introvert and I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with readers.

The remaining two posts will be about health and fitness. I’ve be writing about some awesome Christians who have experienced more depth in their faith as a result of embracing a dedication to their personal health and fitness.

 

Happy November!

 

 

 

How Intentional is Your Health?

Intentional Health

 

One Word 365 is an alternative to the long list of New Year’s resolutions that North American’s often make on January 1 of each year, and forget or fail at by January 2nd. With One Word you choose to instead focus on one word for the entire year. This provides the core of what you’d like to be the main emphasis and motivation.

One Word_Intentional

For 2015 I chose the word ‘plan’ and then after about a month I realized a better word for my goals and desire would be ‘intentional’.

To be intentional is to have in mind and/or make plans with the purpose of attaining specific end goals. I came to the awareness that my life needed to be intentional. I wanted to know what my real intentions were for engaging in various activities in my life: work, volunteer, religious practices, making purchases, everything. In the beginning it was difficult to stop and ask myself, “Why am I doing this? By doing this, what am I expecting?” Over time these simple, yet deep questions help me to add and remove many things from my life.

In the area of food and fitness I realized my impatience and desire to achieve quick results were the reasons why I wasn’t progressing towards my goals. I was looking into eating plans that would get me the fastest results instead of the healthiest results. I devised physical schedules that I knew would take off the most inches of fat in the shortest amount of weeks. However, by being intentional I was able to stop and honestly evaluate the motivations for my choices.

Throughout this year I’ve been able to prevent myself from making my injuries worse. What made this year different from the past was being able to discipline myself enough to pause and self-evaluate. When you are making healthy changes in your life an important question to ask yourself is, “Why have I made this choice?”, followed by, “What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?”, and finally, “Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired result?” You’d be amazed at how these three simple questions coupled with prayer and quiet meditation can reveal so much.

Whether it is a food plan or physical fitness goal, stop and ask yourself serious questions about your true motivation. If your reasons are not good for you, don’t beat yourself up, simply take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help move you towards a way to achieve your goals without causing physical and emotional hurts to yourself. The answers may not come quickly, but if you want to become or remain healthy, you will accept the fact that anything that is good for you takes time.

I_Am_Intentional

QUESTION:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why have I made this choice?
  • What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?
  • Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired end choice?

ACTION: Take time to look at some of the activities in your life that you find emotionally or physically taxing. Stop and ask yourself the three questions above or similar self-motivational questions.

 

Additional Resources:

101 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Before it’s too Late

How Self Motivated are You?

 

How A Christian Should Be Dressed At The Gym

fitness fashion fila 1980

It’s March 2015, and it’s still winter where I live. Slippery, slushy, snow covered our city yesterday and overnight with more to follow. Of course this all means that my excitement at being able to consistently train outside has died; time to hit the treadmill and the gym again. Typical first world problems that I’m not ashamed to have.

As I was getting ready to pack my bag I realized my most comfortable top might be a bit too revealing to wear. It’s my go-to top for exercising and I only wear it in my home, the thought of wearing it anywhere else started to worry me. There were thoughts such as, “What if someone from church sees me?”, “What if I cause someone to stumble in their walk with Christ?”, “What if the *&#@’s at the gym laugh at me and stare?”. All of these were ridiculous things to worry about. I almost returned a pair of Saucony Stabil CS3 because they looked hideous. Never mind the fact that as a seriously flat-footed, size 11 woman with wide feet, I really needed these not so fashionable footwear. The sales associates assured me they were the best looking motion control runners that had ever seen, but it shouldn’t have mattered.

I should have been more concerned with function, not fashion.

fitness fashion pairs

I have an old fashioned mentality when it comes to how Christian’s should dress. I believe that North American Christian’s should dress in a manner that respects our body such as covering strategic parts, not wearing outfits with the intention of attracting attention from the opposite sex, and not wearing filthy clothing. I’m not a clothing police, so if I encountered people who broke these three rules, I wouldn’t say or do anything about it; these are my personal values that I don’t intend to force on anyone.

After much frustration with shopping for runners and trying to select workout wear for this week, I remembered a lesson I thought I had already learned. When preparing to workout, prepare your heart first. If I had focused on the reasons why I had joined a running club and why I needed to purchase specific footwear, I wouldn’t have been caught up in the shallowness of how one should look while being at the gym.

When I work out, I’m a hot mess of glistening sweat, yes, I glisten!  I look hideous and I become self-conscious. Let me tell you, there are some petty, gossipy, and snobby women at the gym and if I am focused on the important things I won’t be concerned about these females.

My fellow believers in Christ, let’s not let insecurity, pride, low self-esteem, or haughtiness accompany us to the gym.

lycra

Instead of only clothing myself in work out gear, let’s cover ourselves with the armour of God. The spirit of the enemy is always lurking trying to distract people and take us away from our purpose for taking care of our bodies. We can defeat the enemy by keeping our thoughts holy. Pray over your gym, the basketball court, the swimming pool, wherever it is that you exercise so that the spirit of God may be welcomed. There are many people in these types of places that have struggles and a great way to bring a blessing to these individuals is to pray  spiritual protection over them.

If you haven’t already been doing so, I want to encourage and challenge you to say a quick prayer of spiritual protection for your fitness facility and its patrons. Peace.

Ephesians 6 10 - 18

Lent and Fitness

Lent Fitness 2015

Yes, it’s that season again, the one where Christians have chosen something to eliminate from their lives starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday in order to make themselves miserable. Then there are those who partake in the season of Lent. Lent, in English simply means Spring, it’s a word which derived from German origins. In Latin it means “fortieth” and derives from the word Quadragesima.

During Lent we engage in more intensified and focused acts of prayer (God), fasting (Self), and Almsgiving (Others).

Lent was never intended to be a time of emotional self-flagellation. Over the span of Lent we are called to intentionally and consciously draw closer to Christ in the desert, remembering his battle against temptation and rejoice with him in the victory when Easter Sunday arrives. It is a period of actively  remembering that we can win any spiritual battle that is brought before us. There is no need for self-hatred during Lent because we know that Jesus’ time in the desert was in obedience to our Father God and for our benefit. Jesus won the battle in that desert knowing that God was with him and that his calling was to save us from ourselves. Today we do the same thing. We join millions of other believers across the world in defeating the stronghold that luxuries can and sometimes do have over our lives. Dear brothers and sisters, don’t let anything in the mundane cause separation between you and the holy trinity.

In the desert Jesus said “no” to the temptations of the enemy and “yes” to the calling the LORD had placed on his life. I have had to join Jesus many times in that desert as I learn what to say ‘yes’ to and what to say ‘no’ to in accordance with God’s teachings.

defeat fast food 1

 

Health and Fitness is my year round struggle of temptation. I’m still on that journey of learning that in order to be healthy I must say ‘no’ to things that are good, but not good for me. I have had to learn the discipline of getting my butt out of bed and doing some form of cardio exercise in order to prevent myself from gaining any more weight. I’ve had to learn that God must be included in my journey into the desert or else I will not defeat the never ending temptations that are thrown my way each day. The sweat and trembling that comes from strength training reminds me not to give up because dedication and commitment to doing what is difficult but necessary is what leads to increased strength.

In the moment, in the midst of my frustrations, I want that plate of poutine, an entire pizza, or a creamy bowl of pasta, but I know that immediate gratification is never a good reward. It’s the slower results of prayers, mindfulness, and working through temptations that allow us to have victory over the cross.

God does nothing in a hurry, He never has, and I believe He never will.

So… my goal in writing this post today is to encourage you to join Jesus in the desert, and alongside our Saviour meet with God in this intensified season of prayer (God), fasting (Self), and almsgiving (Others). There is victory of the cross, but in order to do so we must be willing to do the work. May this period of Lent be one of drawing closer to God, walking with Jesus to the cross, and rejoicing with him over the defeated cross and empty tomb on Easter Sunday. God Bless!