Hello, my FABULOUS friends! It's another Made to Crave Monday and I'm ready to go. I have to say exercise is not my favorite topic, but really, unless your Jillian Michaels or my friend Tasha, is it anyone's? Ha! So, let's get going!
Discussion Questions for Ch 9
1. What thoughts, emotions, or images come to mind when you think about exercise? Are your associations positive, negative, or a mix? Jill's answer: Before I started dabbling in "running" (it's really slow jogging), I would say my associations with exercise were mostly negative. Like Lysa, I gave half-hearted attempts and saw half-hearted results. Now, it's still very hard for me, but I'm starting to enjoy it a little more. Or, I should say I'm enjoying the boost of energy it gives me and the idea that one day I may actually LOOK like a runner.
2. Lysa describes her experience of literally running on faith when God prompted her to keep running until He told her to stop. She ran 8.6 miles, 5.6 farther than she'd ever run. what experiences have you had that required faith you didn't think you had to see something through? What did you learn? How did it impact your relationship with God? Jill's answer: Running the two 5-K's I've run so far and running the second in less than 40 minutes! It's slow for many, but lightning fast for me. I absolutely, completely could NOT have ever done these things without God's strength. And, I highly doubted during training, BOTH TIMES, that I would make it! I've learned that He will provide. He provided the physical strength to do it. He provided the stamina. And, He definitely provided the encouragement through my wonderful husband the 1st time around and the awesome Katie Post the 2nd time around. I have grown closer to God as He has helped me reach these goals and I'm so excited to see what He will help me do next!
3. Have you ever used your strengths to help someone who was weak or didn't know as much as you did? How might such experiences give you insights into what it means to allow God's power to take over your weaknesses, especially weaknesses with food and exercise? Jill's answer: I guess my natural train of thought here goes to being a mom. I've taught and helped Alyssa with so much over the five years of her precious little life. She has depended on me (and Jeremy, of course) for everything and is still leaning on us for so much. That's a good picture, I guess, of how I should depend on God's strength in the area of exercise. Forget trying to do it on my own, but allow Him to give me the strength, stamina, and the ability to live through running!
4. Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name ~ Ps 86:11 When it comes to your body, what forces compete for your attention and loyalty? Do you feel torn between the desire to honor God and the desire to be loyal to cravings and excuses for not exercising? How do you imagine your life might be different if you had an undivided heart? Jill's answer: The forces that compete for my attention are laziness, TV, and just plain busyness! Yes, I totally feel torn between the desire to honor God and the desire to be loyal to cravings and excuses for not exercising - especially at 6am on a dreary, cold morning! If I had an undivided heart in this area I would exercise every day not for the hope of wearing a smaller size, but in order to show my thanks to God by taking care of the body He's given me!
5. When you think about your schedule and daily demands, which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you feel about your time? * Most of my time is within my control. * Some of my time is within my control. * Almost none of my time is within my control. - How does your response help you understand your feelings about making time to exercise? On a scale of 1-10 (one being very little and 10 being a great deal), how much effort would it take to make time in your schedule for regular exercise (3-5 times a week)? Jill's answer: Without a doubt, some of my time is within my control. It's not at all about a lack of time, it's all about a lack of motivation. On scale of 1-10 it would be about a 2-3 as far as the effort it would take to make time in my schedule. Probably less than that since I have a standing appointment at 6:30 a.m. to meet Katie at the gym three times a week! The effort is all about making myself get up and GO!
6. Lysa says about exercise, "I've learned to embrace the benefits instead of resisting the hardship." What are the hardships of exercising and what are the benefits of exercising? Which list has more influence on you? Do you feel the benefits outweigh the hardships or vice versa? Can you imagine that it might be possible for you to embrace the benefits rather than resisting the hardship? Why or why not? Jill's answer: The Hardships: Getting out of bed. It's hard. It hurts. I'm sore afterward. It takes time to drive to the gym and to put in the exercise. I don't feel good about the way I look in my workout clothes. The Benefits: More energy. Faster weight loss. The more I do it the easier it gets. The more I do it the less it hurts. The more I do it the better I'll feel about the way I look in my workout clothes. It's good for my heart. It will help me live longer. And, the longer I live, exercising will help me avoid certain health issues and avoid the loss of function, muscle, etc. It's a great time for learning and memorizing verses from the Bible. It's a great time for bonding with my friend, Katie. It feels good to be able to say, "I ran for 15 minutes this morning w/o stopping!" - I'd have to say the benefits are far outweighing the hardships. I do think I could begin to embrace the benefits rather than resisting the hardships! Why? Because God is helping me every single step of the way!
Whew, the big E-word is finished. Well, not really, but this is never a popular discussion, is it? So, please don't run away from it. (You know the pun was intended!) You may have just the encouragement someone else needs to get started. As always, I'm really looking forward to hearing from YOU!