Yesterday I got back on the ol stationary bike with the intent to suffer through for fifteen minutes to meet my goal. I put on some praise and worship songs and actually - get this - had fun. The difference was all in the attitude.
I've come to realize God talks to us in three different levels. The first time a word of knowledge comes to you and collides with your circumstances, that's a coincidence. The second time it's prophesy. The third time, it's a brick. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. Something will strike you and you will think, boy that's speaking right to me. Then somehow in the next day or two, someone completely oblivious to your circumstances will repeat the same thing, driving the point home. The third time it happens, you can't really escape the fact someone is trying to tell you something.
I found this quote about a week ago that I thought was very profound:
An authentic life is the most personal form of worship. Everyday life has become my prayer. - Sarah Ban Breathnach
And we all know what an authentic life is. It's the life that, when you're living it, you aren't plagued with thoughts that you need to do anything else. My avoiding exercise was not living an authentic life. I know I need to do it, and avoiding it made me feel bad. I've been released from emotional eating - I now eat the way I will eat for life, fully conscious of how much food I eat, what kind of food I eat and even why I eat. Even when I take days off, I make good food decisions. And even stranger, it's not like I have a choice in the matter anymore.
For instance, the day I decided I was going to up my calories from 1200 to 1800, I thought, "Cool, I get to eat now." That comment struck me as so funny, because I could ALWAYS choose to eat more if I really wanted. The only one imposing these restrictions on me is me, and I know how to con myself better than anyone. But I'm beyond that now, I know now what I can and cannot eat. I choose not to eat at Taco Bell because of the high sodium even when I used to L-O-V-E Taco Bell. But now it's a matter of that food doesn't fit in my plan, when other good food does. So there's no choice anymore. I do what's better. It's now built in.
There are some days I don't meet all my goals, but I don't beat myself up - I don't binge and forget mygoals... I get right back on the horse and try again the next day. That's built in too. It's no longer a matter of if I will complete this journey - the only question is when.
And how that happens is to live an authentic life. I'm not doing anyone any favors, least of all God, by living below my own capabilities. Herein lies the "prophesy" part of God's three part plan. Here's the other quote that stood out at me:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just some of us; it's in every one of us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson
But, because I'm a little hardheaded, God had to resort to the brick. I found this in the Bible - quite by accident. I'm reading from Genesis on in the Message translation of the bible, and this quote prefaced Leviticus.
Romans 12:1-2 "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your every day, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
I had my "light bulb" moment, as Oprah says. I realized that how I live my life is a complete act of worship. Taking what God has given me, the ability to change my body, and focusing my behavior on living that authentic life, is the highest form of worship I can show to God, to honor Him in all his gifts to me. It's more than a song, it's the position of my heart.
Like the exercise bike yesterday. Even the Pilates. I almost didn't do it. I don't know why - the hardest part of it is just to press play on the video tape. From then on it's no big deal. Just like the bike. The hardest part was just getting on. Once I was on, it was old hat. And with my attitude shifted from how much of a chore it was to how my actions of discipline were in their highest form a manner of worship, it became an experience that made me happy. I've been waiting all day to do it again. Strange, isn't it? I have avoided it for months even when it made me feel better and gave me results. And running from that authentic life made me miserable.
So no more of that. I hardwired my brain to eating well, I'm going to hardwire my brain to look forward to and enjoy exercise. It's not something that's going to come with time, it's a choice.
And I've made it.
DAILY AFFIRMATION: I am living an authentic life.
Calories: 1586 / 18%
Exercise: ride 30 mins stationary bike
RED means I did not meet goal