at home fitness, faith, faith for fitness, loveMEmore

Doing more but not seeing results? Lukewarm Fitness #LOVEMEMORE series

When we workout harder, longer, the common idea is that we’ve “EARNED” or can better “AFFORD” the onion rings with our burgers, the pizza with extra cheese all to my self, that huge bowl of pasta at my favorite Italian restaurant, the brown sugar & cinnamon toast I made for my kids this morning, or the glazed donuts whenever I want, right?!

Mamas… I’ll be honest with you.   As a woman with a tendency to slip into emotional/stress eating, I am not above the “reasoning out” how I “can get away with” the extra carbs and sugar because I exercise (LITERALLY AS MY JOB plus on my own for my personal fitness goals) more days than not. But those workouts are not the actual stronger authority at helping us improve the way our body looks and feels!  And my body experiences bloat, inflammation, constipation, and sluggishness as a result of the food choices I make – no matter how many hours clocked in working out.  I have to learn to #LOVEMEMORE than to put my body down like that.

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And then you know what happens?  Lukewarm fitness results.  We don’t really see the needle change in one direction or the other.. we are just somewhere in the middle.

Ever heard of lukewarm water?  Well, lukewarm water  is water that isn’t hot enough for cleaning, and isn’t cold enough for refreshing.  Lukewarm can’t cool your body as effectively after a sweaty heart pounding workout like a cold glass of water can, nor can it soothe a rough throat or chilled body like a hot cup of lemon water or tea can.  Why am I talking about lukewarm water?

Because when we deceive ourselves into thinking we can work the body harder and not care for it just as well and just as often through food and rest , our results (whether it’s what we see in the mirror or it’s what our doctor sees in our blood work)  the changes we see/feel aren’t HOT or COLD (drastically different in one direction or the other)… they’re just… LUKEWARM.  They’re kinda not really happening… get what I’m saying?

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So many people I see make a regular 5-6 visits to the gym a week  without paying any attention to the FOOD side of it all, which results in no significant changes in their body shape, lean muscle gain, or overall fat loss, despite all the hours spent at the machines or in the class.  Yes, I am a group fitness instructor and stand by my formats of choice with good reason (the science behind them)! HOWEVER – the workouts I teach can’t produce all the the changes you want by themselves. Rather, they work together with the healing (vs damaging) foods we put into our bodies!  There are choices on our part both inside the class and outside the class that will determine how much change we see in our bodies –  both short term and long term.

Doing More Doesn’t Mean Getting More 

Did you know?  On average, jogging 1 mile uses about 100 calories. It takes burning 3500 calories to lose just 1 pound. That’s A LOT of jogging, right?! On top of that, exercise naturally causes your appetite to increase…and we gotta eat!  But are we choosing our unhealthy foods and saying God, bless it! without asking His input before Choosing it in the first place?  LOL…  My point is…we CANNOT out exercise a poor diet. Our diet is the most influential aspect of how we look and feel…hands down! We want to see results we have to fuel our bodies better and more often than not.  We know this, too, right?

And then there is this. I see people at the gyms or even in my online groups (we often share photos and videos of our workouts for accountability) giving ONLY 50% of their maximum possible effort -sweating for 60 – or even 90 minutes of exercise —then they walk away believing they’ve “earned” that extra tall sweet tea or chips and queso refill (guilty)! after class because they worked out for an hour or more. Oh,… mamas… I wish it Were true – but we deceive ourselves!

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Before you start coming at me, let me quickly say these 2 things:
1) Exercise IS important. It creates self esteem, stronger muscles, better metabolism and healthier heart but ONLY if done in a way that taxes your system to work HARDER. Steady state exercise (think stair master set between beginner and intermediate level for 30 minutes) is not enough. Science is proving that all-out intense effort in short bursts of HIIT style training is WAY more effective than even an hour or more of steady state cardio. Either way… If you want to change your body composition, jogging alone won’t do it…eating clean the majority of your month will! This is the TRUTH!

2) I’m also an advocate for enjoying life. You only get 1 freakin’ turn on this earth to live this gift called life and you need to enjoy it. Does this mean eat it all and eat it all the time or even every chance you get?   Like you have a right to put foods that cause more damage than good into your God-given body without reserve in the name of “freedom?” Uh… no, mama… I say this because eventually those choices stack up on the inside and cause diseases and dysfunctions that result in LOSS of freedom and right to live life freely. So — have some cake at your daughter’s birthday party…I promise I won’t knock it out of your hand ! But you must understand that you don’t need to eat the other half of the entire sheet cake all by yourself in the name of “enjoying life” LOL… Also we can truly consider that cake or ice cream a “treat” by intentionally only indulging a couple times a month…not every week like clockwork!

I get asked by my class members and online challengers often , how much I eat vs how much I exercise each week and when I tell them, they are usually so surprised. In a normal season of my personal diet and exercise, I workout 4-5 days a week and rest 2 (sometimes 3) days per week, depending on my own goals and given season/busyness of life! I eat A LOT of veggies and an adequate amount of fats (higher than the “norm” or what you probably guess I do, though), a moderate amount of protein. Right now I’m purposely eating around a 2400 calorie range due to my increased calorie burn while following my new 80 day program – but even before then I was regularly eating 1800-2100 easy! And, if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that my eating pattern is generally 8 hours of eating time per day with 16 hours of not eating , mostly to help with the proven benefits for fat loss, cancer/diabetes/metabolic/autoimmune types of disorders, (I have family history of plenty across the board, so I am being proactive) — but here is another HUGE piece of the puzzle — when I exercise, I EXERCISE! I give it all I got!! I pay attention to my perceived level of exertion and leave it all on the gym floor as they say (whether that’s in my home gym or the public one – I don’t halfway do it — I commit to give it all my effort)!!  This is why, if you regularly come to my classes, or you’re in my online challenges, I am always pushing you to do your best so often!! Because I love you and I am invested in your results!!

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Faith for Fitness:  LIVING LIFE FIT 
Finally… for my Life Fit Mamas waiting for it — let me add some faith to my lukewarm results perspective on this subject —
Here’s what Jesus says to the church in the city of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22):

 

….I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

I share in a LIVE chat each week with my online challengers from a devotional or scripture some biblical truth and principles that can also relate to our health and fitness efforts.  this is no different.

Jesus is talking to the church of  Laudicea and saying… despite all your deeds (and you know I see everything you doing)… there is no fruit for all of your “doing” … because your heart isn’t in it.  You’re not LIVING it for REAL.  It’s not that you’re only giving half your effort…. Jesus is saying they were lukewarm Christians because they were deceiving themselves.  They were working hard at deeds in the church, sure… but living outside the church in such a way that was counterproductive to what they THOUGHT they were achieving through deeds alone.  It wasn’t about their DOING more  to get more.  Rather, I see it was about their  BELIEVING to such a degree that their believing permeated all choices both in and outside the church.  THey truly LIVED what they believed whether life in the church or life at home or life at the workplace.

What’s that got to do with fitness?  Well… think about it.  If we are working so hard at what’s seen on the outside (DOING the workouts) but less so at what really matters on the inside (caring about our body’s internal health = nutrition), we stay at lukewarm results.  THe question is … how passionate are you willing to get about acting on what you believe is true for improving your health and fitness for REAL?   Do you believe to such a degree you’re willing to live it for REAL not just in exercise but in nutrition?  Not just in the gym or around your friends, but at home and when nobody is watching?

The other component of that scripture I see is HE DISCIPLINES thsoe he LOVES.  My first thought was… AM I LOVING MY BODY ENOUGH to discipline it??

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Look — I get it.  Sometimes I slip into the “clock in/clock out” or “I did my time” mentality.  I already admitted I often am tempted to feel justified in eating extra chocolate or extra slice because “I earned it” or I “did enough exercise” to cover it up.  But if God always looks at the HEART… does He see in me a fully softened heart to eating well to take care of this temple called my body…  or am I lukewarm? … neither hot nor cold…? not living as a woman CONVINCED that what I eat matters as much as how much I exercise?  forgetting Whose I am as soon as I finish taking my selfie in the mirror and promising to strengthen and fuel this body the best I know how – just to ditch it all in the drive thru 5 hours later at lunch time ?  Trying to “make it up later” by sweating more??  Am I giving in to excuses NOT to practice self-control and self-discipline with my eating choices throughout the month?  Do I need to enforce a WAKE UP CALL spiritually and repent (turn away) from my habits and old way of thinking, so that I can make new ones that will give me REAL lasting change for the BEST version of me??  If I really believe it, I LIVE it, right??

So — if you’re struggling to understand why you’re spending hours in classes or on your home treadmill or jogging around the block with friends , but you are not seeing significant changes in your body shape, energy, fat loss, etc…. Try looking FIRST at your heart and attitude towards increasing your efforts with your daily NUTRITION …. BEFORE adding another hour or two to your workout time!!

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What do you hear God prompting your heart to do or stop doing in your fitness routine or healthy eating habits?  Have you ever experienced some of this heart change that I’m talking about?

Obviously I’m in my own place of the fitness journey wheel of change, and my experiences are unique to me and my body/health.  What God has prompted me to do with my fit walk to this date could be something he has not prompted you towards.  Therefore,  this is not a condemnation or a MUST do check list.  Rather, this is just me sharing with you my personal reflection on how I had to  stop DOING more and get REAL  in how to “love ME more” than to be complacent at  what was lukewarm living and lukewarm health/fitness for me! 🙂   Take it or leave it… but I hope it offers hope or insight in some way!

Living Life Fit Every Day,

Angel

Mamas, will you join me for the #LOVEMEMORE 7 Day Self Love Project?
CLICK  here… on the Life Fit Mama Facebook page!love me more

Why? Because mamas, the only permission we need to take care of our bodies without guilt attached has already been given by the Creator himself .

🏵Our focus during the 7 Day project is to love as he loves us and to love ourselves more … more than what? More than the daily to do list we used to previously measure our self-worth by…

🏵To make the connection that by loving me first, and loving me more, I am better equipped to love others.

🏵And to love me more intentionally and on purpose , in order to fulfill my Divine Purpose.

🏵 join me right here on my Angel Ballance – Life Fit Mama Facebook page, and dare to say #lovememore

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