Since we’re talking about Stewarding Ourselves this month, I thought it would be good to tell you a little bit about myself and my story.
You can read all about me in the About Lisa page, but in brief: the Lord has blessed me with 7 children, 3 grandchildren, a wonderful husband, and a traveling ministry. Because the Lord has given me so much to do, I try to take care of myself as much as I can. I run 3 miles 3 to 4 times a week, do my best to eat right to keep my weight in check, and do bodyweight strength training exercises 3 to 4 times a week. Right now, coming out of the Christmas season, I weigh more than I should, around 135 pounds, but I know what to do to get that lower, and I’m working on it.
But I haven't always been fit.
First, let me tell you the things that are against me:
- I’m 47 years old, and I got quite a late start at getting in shape.
- I've had eight pregnancies, and spent the majority of them on bedrest.
- We live in an extremely small place, 320 square feet to be exact. It’s pretty hard to exercise here.
- I find myself very busy, homeschooling four children, writing a book, being involved in ministry and traveling.
- My schedule is quite unpredictable, changing time zones regularly and varying daily according to the folks we stay with.
- My husband is a night-owl, which makes it tough to get up early sometimes. Need I say more?
- Add to these things, I am hypoglycemic, which is similar in some respects to diabetes. I need to be very careful what I eat, and always have a supply of food on hand to keep my blood sugar stable.
My health habits were not very good while my children were growing up. For a while, when my husband worked warehousing M&M/Mars, my afternoon snack consisted of a Twix bar and a Mountain Dew! (What's that about blood sugar?? Yikes!)
When I was pregnant with my youngest child, I was soooo tired. Really, tired is not the word. Extremely exhausted was more like it. I knew that I had done some exercise in the past, but I was sure I would never exercise again. The only thing I felt like doing was sitting and zoning…for the rest of my life!
After I had Jason, I felt some better, but I was still about 30 pounds overweight. That’s the equivalent of 3 ten pound bags of potatoes! That may not be much for some, but for my small frame, it was quite the load to carry around.
So after a few years of that, I finally drew the line. I said, “This is enough! I will not get any heavier!” So, with a lot of prayer and a lot of determination, I set about eliminating all starches and sugars, and slowly but surely, exercising.
I was amazed at how little I could do! I decided to start by walking for 15 minutes. Surely I could spare 15 minutes! So I started out each morning, walked seven and a half minutes, turned around and walked back. For the first week, I was exhausted!! And believe it or not, I was very sore! --just walking for 15 minutes a day. There were some days I was simply too tired, too sore, or the schedule was too crazy and I didn’t walk, but most days I did.
After about a month I added a minute every week or two, and within about a year I was walking for about 30 minutes. It was around this time that I read Aerobics, by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, and learned that it was possible to feel even better. I decided it was time to kick it up a notch, so I began to run for one minute while walking 29. Every few weeks I would add another minute, until I was walking 5 minutes, running 20, and then walking another 5. I felt great!
I discovered that it takes a very long time to get better, but I knew I had nothing to lose but the feeling of exhaustion. Many times I was tempted to give up in frustration, wondering why my body was not cooperating like I thought it would. Needless to say, I learned that getting fit takes longer than I could possibly imagine, but it has been worth every step.
Anyway, I could go on about my slow recovery from serious exhaustion, but let’s just say I’ve been on the other side of these tracks, and I know how hard and frustrating it can be. But I know that if I can do it, you can too!
It has taken years, but now I’m a decent weight, can run 3 miles (though it is somewhat slow!), and have more energy than I’ve had in many years. God has helped me to take care of my body, and I know He can help each of us. I want to encourage others to embark on their own fitness journey!
How about you? Do you have a fitness story? Take a minute and share it with us!