Monday, November 24, 2014

Focus on the Positive

Three weeks ago I started a journey to get healthy. It's not the first time I've started such a journey, but my hope is that this time will lead to a lifetime of change. You see, Faithful Finish Lines is a tangible program. It starts by asking the journey-taker to create "God-given, short-term fitness goals that balance with family priorities, promote eating for energy, and include mission and fun." 

One of the reasons I love Faithful Finish Lines is because it is practical. The program isn't like all those diet programs out there that make you drink meal replacement shakes or obsessively count calories or work out 2 hours a day. Instead, Faithful Finish Lines is all about helping each individual create short-term goals that will aid in healthy long-term lifestyle changes. For example, the program leaders give us fitness goals each week, such as increasing our fruit and veggie intake or increasing our movement for the week. Along with the goals, each member is encouraged to to pray a specific prayer for the week that will help us focus our mind on Jesus as we re-create our lives towards a more healthier version of ourselves.

Another reason I love the program is that not only are the leaders (Sara & Jill) super inspiring and encouraging, but the members of the group are as well! We spend time each week logging onto the Faithful Finish Lines Facebook page to cheer each other on in our journey. Faithful Finish Lines isn't something you do on your own, which often leads to giving up and going back to your old way of doing things. Instead, Faithful Finish Lines has a built-in accountability system. There are other people walking alongside you in this journey, encouraging and lifting you up in prayer, while you do the same for them. It's amazing, and I'm so so thankful to be a part of this wonderful group!

Confession time: while I love love LOVE everything about Faithful Finish Lines, change is HARD! If you've been paying attention to the blog, you've noticed I've not blogged about FFL in two weeks. These past two weeks have been super difficult as I've tried to walk this journey to a healthier life. Some of the changes have been simple, such as adding more fruits and veggies to the diet. But other things have been a challenge, such as increasing my activity. Week one I was determined to get moving more and was walking 1.2 miles every other night. Week two I started out strong then it got cold outside, so I lost all motivation. Not to mention, I can't seem to get this eating under my calorie goal thing down. It's  because I don't want to give up some of my favorite things (Mt Dew mostly).

Last week I avoided the Faithful Finish Lines Facebook page. I ignored Sara's emails asking me to let her know what my short-term fitness goal was going to be. The truth was, I was discouraged because I felt the weight of making this huge lifestyle change. I finally reached out to Sara and let her know I was discouraged, and she responded with such encouragement. She reminded me that I needed to give myself credit for the progress that I was making, even if it seemed small to me. 

So this week I've decided to focus on the positive! Though they may seem small, these changes I've made are going to help me in the long-term:
  • I went from ZERO servings of fruit per day to 1-2 servings
  • I went from ZERO exercise a week to walking 2-3 times a week
  • I went from almost ZERO glasses of water per day to 1-2 glasses

Also, the short-term fitness goal I've chosen is to attempt to walk a 5K! I officially signed up for the Rudolf Run which is coming up soon on Thursday, December 4th!! This event is going to be super fun as it's a night-time event that comes along with blink-y noses so all the folks participating can look like Rudolf. :) I'm also walking with a mission -- to honor some folks in my life who are cancer survivors. These folks inspire me each and every day to continue to live a better life!

Ever since I participated in the #write31days challenge, the thing that keeps coming back to me is that it's OK to give myself grace. There will be times in life where things get difficult, when I'll feel like quitting, and maybe I'll even give up for a while. But instead of giving up permanently, grace says it's OK to start again.

What is grace telling you?

If you're on this Faithful Fitness Lines journey with me, THANK YOU for your encouragement along the way. Whether you've actually personally said something to me or not, your words have made an impact. I'm reading your posts on Facebook as well as your blog, and your stories keep me motivated on this journey. 


Denise Dilley said...

Wow, Denise, just WOW! Your post today has me in tears. You really are not giving yourself enough credit for the AMAZING changes you are making! You are doing an incredible job, my friend! Look at all the changes you are making in such a short period of time! Fruit -- check. Water -- check. Exercise -- check, check, check! That is incredible! I'm so impressed and so proud of you. Who cares if it's perfect. In fact, it's not supposed to be perfect. I'm sharing this post. Other people need to read this because I know it will inspire them too. xoxoxo.

Denise Dilley said...

Change is sooooo hard! Isn't is amazing how hard we are on ourselves. I'm an all or nothing kind of person, and that has really stopped me from succeeding in the past. FFL has really helped me keep on moving forward. I just wrote about celebrating small victories today, and you my dear have lots of victories to celebrate this week.

When I had a very bad week the group really helped lift me up, don't be afraid to ask for support. We're all here for you.

We can do this!!

Denise Dilley said...

Denise! This is wonderful. Love your honesty and your heart. You are rockin!

Denise Dilley said...

Awww, thanks Sara! Sorry to have made you cry ;)

Truly, thank you for being so encouraging and for beginning this program! I know I'm not alone in saying that you're helping save many lives. :)

Denise Dilley said...

Thanks, Danielle! Part of my issue is that I've never been one to ask for help. Sometimes that's because I'm just afraid, but it's also because I've often asked for help only to not receive any. So I'm pretty independent.

But, I'm super thankful for Sara and all of you because you've all been super encouraging and supportive!

Denise Dilley said...

Thanks, Shelby!

Denise Dilley said...

Wow! You have a gift for writing, inspiring, and encouraging! You are a champion in my book. The best part of the program is that it is small steps. We've got this and the grace to cover all of our shortcomings! So glad to be on the journey with you, Denise! I want to read more of your work!

Denise Dilley said...

And your 5K sounds like mine! I will be "glowing" on December 6th. Post pictures if you can!

Denise Dilley said...

I want to learn more about the faithful fittness lines. I have lost 10 lbs in a couple months but I have so far to go.