I have to say that my current lifestyle is not conducive to exercise. When I lived overseas, I didn’t expect that to change, but it did! Living in Singapore really taught me a lot about exercise as a way of life. In the intense humidity, these people, including me, walked long distances to and from shopping, school, and even to church on occasion. Cars were a luxury and a bike was a definite must! Because Singapore is an island, water sports and beach biking were a regular way of relaxing on the weekends. So, now that I’ve been home for several years, I’m back to the same old, same old, and it’s showing up on my legs, stomach and arms, OH MY! So what to do?
Well, I’ve decided to begin a new form of exercise and it’s called “life in action”. No Zumba to throw my hip out, no boot camp to pull a hamstring, and no running endless miles out of breath! This is about slow physical changes in my life to maximize calorie burning potential and to lift up the heart rate naturally. My inspiration came when I was doing my Bible study today and I came across the “woman’s nightmare” scripture, about the Proverbs 31 woman!!! I don’t know about you, but this woman is intimidating. I started looking at it and what struck me this time, wasn’t what she was doing, but how she was doing it. She is a bundle of energy! 14 active verbs are used to tell us what she does! Here they are: Seeks, willingly works with hands, brings food from afar, rises early, provides food, plants a vineyard, girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms, stretches out her hands to the distaff, holds the spindle, makes tapestry, opens her mouth with wisdom, watches over her household, She definitely does not eat the bread of idleness! She was constantly using her “temple of God” to do good works for her family and ultimately God got the glory for that. Her family appreciated her efforts and she was praised. Her husband trusted her and her worth was counted far more than riches. I find that amazing. She was definitely not a slacker!
Now, I’m not saying that I need to make bread from a stone grinder, or wash my clothes on the line outside to get more exercise, but my new plan is definitely to do more physical labor. And, to do this, just like the virtuous woman, I will have to strengthen my arms! (vs. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.) So, working out is still on my agenda. I go to a class three times a week for one hour right now and I will continue this. I have been going consistently for three weeks. It’s been great so far and I look forward to it, but it’s time to go further. With my strong arms, I can do now do more physical labor. The physical labor that I have decided to do is just three things. If I did more than that, I know it would be a “one time only” event and then I would have to confess to you, but I think I can handle three things. Small, slow and steady change works for me! So, here they are: Every two weeks, I will mop the floor by hand. I know it sounds crazy, but I have a lot of hard wood and on my hands and knees the floor gets much cleaner than it does with my dust mop and I get a full body workout doing it. 45 minutes and I’m done. Afterwards, I have a glowing floor to accompany a new body, if I continue to do this once every two weeks! The second thing is carrying my groceries to the car on my second trip to the grocery store during the week. From now on I refuse to use a buggy to carry out my five or six plastic bags. I will double the effect of this work out by parking further away and walking with the weight of the bags to my car. This is only once a week, not daily! Small steady change! The third and final thing I will do is to schedule regular outdoor activity on the weekend with one or more members of my family. It’s spring, I don’t need to be planted in front of the TV or sitting in front of this computer. My time with those I love would be better spent taking a 30 minute walk together, biking at the park, playing mini golf, walking the dog, gardening together, washing the cars, hand gliding (j k), etc. I just need to pick one thing each weekend that involves an outdoor activity and “go” for it! Spring and summer is a great time to try this. Just one thing, one day during the weekend. I can do this!
So, that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it! I’ll be checking back in with you and giving you my very good, my okay, and my bad progress reports! I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. If you have have changed or you could change anything in your life that would bring slow steady change in your life physically, what would it be? Be creative. Share with us! We’d love to hear what you came up with and hear about your progress! Let’s hold each other accountable and, as verse 29 exclaims, “excel them all”. Now, where did I put that mop bucket? It’s been awhile. Say a prayer for me!
Stephanie Wilkins 4/12/2014
GREAT READ: Small Move, Big Change – Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently by Caroline L. Arnold