Posted in Fitness

The Math Behind The Exercise

Confession: I’d love to say I’m always that motivated or active but I love sitting around and being lazy more.

As far as calories go, in order to not gain weight or keep a healthy balance you are supposed to burn as many calories as you eat on a day to day basis.  There is an amount of calories you burn just by existing – your Basal Metabolic Rate.  This is the burning of calories in your sleep.

On an average for me I have a BMR of about 1500 calories, and there are calculators to help you figure yours out (rough estimate). Then there’s the amount of calories you eat a day (and the sources of those calories).

If you have the need to lose weight you need to have a deficit of calories burned versus calories consumed by about 400 calories.  In this light, you can just take fitness and health and make it a concept of watching what you eat and call it good, right?

I’m not very good at yoga, but man do I love stretching! Specially the muscles I use to run!

Not entirely.  Your body needs exercise more than just to balance the amount of calories in and out so that you can justify that 800 calorie slice of cheese cake.

Muscles atrophy.  Joints lose cartilage.  Bones lose density.  You lose range of motion, strength and flexibility.  The truth is, your body will get rid of that which you do not use regularly.

(Think for a minute of chicken.  How easy is it to snap a chicken wing versus a thigh?  The chicken wing is very easy to snap because it is a non-weight-bearing bone, and chickens don’t fly.)

So for these reasons we need to MOVE.  Exercise also releases endorphins, helps balance our moods and hormones, regulates hunger, and helps provide a useful outage for the adrenaline released by stress.  This  useful outage of adrenaline is a big deal because if you don’t put your body to use the adrenaline appropriately (through cardiovascular exercise), it will damage your body’s ability to burn fat and metabolize energy!

Before I was a homeschooling mom, my favorite job was at Veterinary clinics. I was a receptionist. I also poured out 2 years of over-time, and Saturdays, 0 vacation, no camping trips that I can never get back and give to my husband and kids now. My kids were raised by day care centers and I will never have three to four year olds again. I worked hard, not smart, and I missed out on a lot.

All this to say: You may be a person who barely eats 1000 calories a day because you are vegan and don’t have a large appetite.  In the same manner, you may have a desk job that requires you to sit 8 hours a day.  If you are a relatively carefree person, a little morning yoga may be all you need to be healthy!  But if that desk job causes you stress or anxiety – and you have moments where you want to pull your hairs out… you are not doing for your body what you need!

If you’re like me before I became a full-time homeschooling mom, I was sitting at a desk 9 hours a day 5-6 days a week, very stressed, eating well over my BMR, not sleeping well, and not having the mental or physical wherewithal to exercise… Habits of the “average American”, and my body paid full price for it when I was taking 8 pills a day just to get me out of bed.

On the flip side, if you are an active person who burns about 2500 calories a day because your job requires you to move all the time, doing about five miles a day just in your job alone… and you don’t eat the amount of nutritious calories you NEED, you are hurting your body.

So for the next two days, take an honest assessment of how active you are through out the day and what kind of exercise do you need.  It doesn’t always have to be a P90X + Insanity exercise day.  It may be more reasonable for you to adjust your diet and handle light, low impact exercise in order to be at your healthiest (please don’t put yourself in a position to need knee replacement surgery and then say I gave you health advice!).  The reason why all fitness programs say to CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR is because a Doctor can give you an accurate picture of the exercise you need. But while you wait, do something fun! Move a little, or a lot! Try to get more movement in your day!

Posted in Faith

The Roadmap Behind The Prayer Journal

The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. – Habakkuk 2:2

While I completely understand the hermeneutics behind this verse, since the day I first read it my heart has been affixed on it.

I’ve always been a writer, but over time God asked me to write down my prayers.  I went from writing down lists of things I was praying for to actually writing my prayers instead of speaking them, like a letter I was intending to send up to heaven some day.

Notebooks and journals later, I never understood quite how this system worked.  I wasn’t entirely sure it did for some things…  But this is what I have mapped over this process:

– God wanted more than a grocery bill or honey-do list.  While it’s ok to make these lists to pray over, that wasn’t what God was wanting for me when He told me to write it clearly, so that it’s easy to read. – I wrote down my emotions more than the items I was actually praying for.  I wrote down what I perceived was going on around me.  I wrote down how this prayer request was affecting what I believed about God.

I realize, looking back and reading over them, that God was always answering prayers.  It didn’t look the way I thought; but if He wasn’t doing what I asked Him to do, He was changing my heart so I could perceive His Word and His Character more clearly.

Have you read The Pilgrim’s Progress?  It’s a parable of our journey on this side of heaven.  Well my friends, writing our prayers down works like creating a road map.  I know this may sound unusual because ideally you look at maps to see where you are going, and journaling prayers seems more like a way to document where you’ve been…

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. – Habakkuk 2:3

When you write down your prayers, you are charting the course of your future.  It’s like creating a map of where you are as you discover it, but at the same time this map shows you where you need to go next!

You are also prophetically putting down a vision that will get you to your next step in this walk with God.

Artists  sometimes use graph paper to paint a masterpiece to scale.  When a project is too big, they will draw a smaller version of it on a blue print, then create bigger squares on the wall they want to work on.  Then they copy one square at a time, from the paper to the wall.

This is how prayer journaling works!  You take a situation so much bigger than you, and you break it down to one small, manageable square at a time.  Then God recreates the masterpiece as He answers it to scale!  But you would miss that, and you’d think the wall was just haphazardly painted from left to right, if you didn’t have the blue print.

You may be thinking right now: But I’m not a writer!  And that’s ok.  Draw it out.  Write single words that describe what you’re feeling or seeing.  It could be cartoon like pictures, or photographs.  It could be in a journal or on a cork board in your bedroom wall.  Write where you are now.  Write where you want to be.  Then watch God fill in the blanks in between.

It is rumored that when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he started on the work around the borders and left the main part in the center of the roof for last.  Reason being that he was a sculptor, not a painter, but he figured (given the task to paint a ceiling, of all things) that by the time he got the main focal point of the masterpiece, he’d be that much more skilled at it and it would be closer to perfection.  And what was that centerpiece? The finger of God reaching out to touch man, known as the “Creation of Adam”.