Bathing suits, shorts and tank tops!
I don’t mean to speak for all women, but those first images make me smile and the others CRINGE!! In rainy Washington, summer still seems awfully far away. Those gorgeous, warm days are coming, however, and I don’t want to let these frumpy, sweatshirt days lull me into thinking I am safe from skimpy styles and beach wear.
What to do? What to do?
Last year I went through a period of depression at the onset of summer. Instead of spending some time over the winter exercising and keeping fit and toned, I ATE and lazed my way through the cold months. I had a full bin of cute summer things I never even touched — too tight or pinched to wear.
This year I am determined to hit summer with confidence. I might not have that model worthy figure (I think that’s a bit elusive for this mother of five) but I can at least spend some time NOW eating healthy and exercising consistently.
How to do it? How to do it?
I am a person who loves a new idea, plan or contest. I need motivation and external rewards to keep me focused. As I thought about how to motivate myself to get off my comfy computer chair and into the gym, the Lord gave me a fantastic idea. I say the Lord because this was truly divine inspiration.
If you look closely you can see a little sister in the picture.
This is NOT beach weather.
Our church is hosting a women’s retreat in April. This provided the perfect, natural deadline. I’m on the retreat committee and will be helping to coordinate things over the weekend. In other words, I will be somewhat in the “public eye.” I have the opportunity to greet the women as they come, welcome new people, share some of how God has put this retreat together and so on. Last year we performed a hilarious skit using the Lord’s Prayer. I was in my bathrobe for that one but you never know what they’ll come up with this year.
Talk about motivation!
Five for $5
The premise is simple:
- Everyone who participates donates $5
- Each person selects 5 healthy living goals (food, exercise, water, etc)
- You have 100 points per week – distribute your points among your five goals
- Report your total points for the week each Monday
- The two contestants with the highest cumulative scores receive first and second prizes dividing the registration fees
That’s it! It happened to work out that there are 5 Mondays until our retreat so it’s actually 5 for $5 in 5 Weeks. Isn’t that perfect!!
My Goals ended up looking something like this:
- A)Water: 64 oz/day (1pt/ day=7pts possible for the week)
- B)Food Recording: 6 days/ week (4 pts=24pts for week)
- C)Calories under 1700: 6 days/ week (4 pts=24pts for week)
- D)Cardio â€“ 45 minutes: 5 days/week (6pts=30 pts for week)
- E)Wt training â€“ 15 min: 3 days week(4pts=12 pts for week)
3 Bonus points if Cardio and Wt Training are completed for the week.
The response has been delightful! My initial thought was to invite only the retreat steering committee of four people (including myself). This soon spiraled beyond our group and we now have between 17 and 20 people participating. Almost every single person has thanked me for encouraging them to make some goals and Strive For Them! I’m thrilled that the Lord would use me to encourage others to develop self-control and a healthier lifestyle. Isn’t He creative!
I take no credit for the idea, it was whispered into my ear by the One who penned these words:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…(Titus 2:11-12)
I encourage everyone to steal this idea, grab some friends and start your own 5 for $5 group. Let’s greet the summer with joy and confidence, knowing we have been disciplined and healthy in our eating and physical exercise.
It won’t be long before my kids are packing lunches, gathering suits and towels and heading for the beach.
Grab the sunscreen and let’s go!