We all have enemies, whether it’s over-eating, over-drinking (alcohol), over-spending, over-gambling, etc. It’s about gaining self-control, self-respect and self-confidence. Enemies can be very powerful, and trying to defeat the enemy alone (without God) is futile. As Lou posts at the bottom of his website (Philippians 4:13) “I can do all things THROUGH HIM who strengthens me” and sometimes we need to be strengthened mentally (not just physically). Our mind can be the barrier which gets in the way of succeeding, so that is where I needed to start. If I may quote Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
I have physically been transformed, first by the renewing of my mind. Several months ago, I had the privilege of helping package rations for shipping to under-nourished people in various areas of the country. That week, our church challenged us to eat not only what we were shipping out (something actually pretty pathetic – some form of rice and beans, etc.), but also the same quantity. So for 5 days I ate 1 cup of pathetic rations, three times a day. This was a very humbling and healing experience, and from that week forward, I appreciated both the quality and smaller quantity of food that I now eat.
O.K.--- so let’s get to the facts. I workout everyday I can (which is usually six days a week). I have a membership at Bally’s. I do 20-25 minutes intense cardio (well, my version of “intense”). I like the StairMaster and the elliptical machines. They have different program selections – I like doing interval training. I then do 20 minutes with weights focusing on abs, arms, etc. For example:
- 20 min. StairMaster
- 3 sets of 10 tricep curls with 15 air squats in between sets
- 3 sets of 5 Dips with 25 situps (on an incline) in between sets
- 20 min. elliptical
- 3 sets of 10 bicep curls with 3 sets of leg lifts (alternating sets)
- 3 sets of 5 Pull-ups (assisted) with 3 sets of leg presses (alternating sets)
- 20 min. elliptical plus 10 min. StairMaster
- Just Abs – various combinations
On Thursdays, I’ve been taking part in our Thursday Challenges at work, and these workouts have really been a mental motivator for me. I’m doing workouts that I would have never done on my own, and they add a variety to my normal, basic workouts.
In terms of food, my day goes something like this: Protein Shake and Oatmeal for breakfast. Then about every three hours thereafter, I have a protein (i.e. chicken, tuna, salmon, egg whites, veggie patties, lean turkey/ham) and a carb (i.e. broccoli, carrots, salad, granola bar, brown rice, slice of 100% whole wheat bread). At some point, I snack on some almonds and a cheese stick. Oh yeah, one more thing... I have the largest Starbucks Vanilla Iced Coffee with non-fat milk EVERYDAY -- It’s my reward!
I no longer live to eat, but eat to fuel my body --- It’s a whole different ball game, and I’m winning. I’ve lost 50 lbs since January (5-6 lbs a month consistently), and I’ve gone down 7 pants sizes. Also, I recently had all my blood work done, and my cholesterol level is 150 (it used to be in the 190’s).
In closing, I would like to repeat Philippians 4:13, however, I think there’s a lot more “power” behind it if you start with the preceding verse:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.