I Said I Would!

Sharon's Feb RunFriday, February 13, 2015, this was the day I had said I would do my 2nd 5K. When I said I would do this race, I was really excited about rubbing elbows with these runners in an official race. I was excited about crossing the finish line with a lot of hoopla that I had missed out on in my last 5K on December 6. I was excited about continuing with the wonderful Faithful Finish Lines Program, and continuing to encourage others and be encouraged by those in our group. However, as the new session of FFL started on January 3, I struggled to get back on track after the holiday break. I tried to write down what I was eating. I tried to get to the gym 3 times a week. I tried to leave sweets alone and eat mostly “clean” foods, and I committed to my goal of completing the 5K at the Neon Night on February 13.

As the day of the race arrived, I hate to tell you, but I had only shown my face at the gym a total of 4 days from January 3 to February 13. How did that happen? I have excuses, reasons maybe. It doesn’t matter. The fact remained, I was untrained for this race.

I never once said, “I’m not going to do the 5K,” but I knew as time went on chances were slim that I would be able to do it, even though I said I would. I never “got around” to actually paying the registration fee. I knew that could be paid on race day. So if no one noticed, I could possibly have sneaked right on by the day and gone on to plan B to hopefully schedule another race when things settled down and it was more convenient.

And then I woke up on Friday, February 13 to this dialogue on Facebook:

Sharon Jordan tomorrow night is your event!!!! How are you feeling? This is an evening event and it looks to be a big one! How exciting! Members, let’s give Sharon a big shout out and lots of encouragement! She’s had a work schedule change and maybe wasn’t able to get as much training in this time around, which is tough. We know you will still be successful, Sharon! You’ve got this!

Sharon Jordan tomorrow night is your event!!!! How are you feeling? This is an evening event and it looks to be a big one! How exciting! Members, let's give Sharon a big shout out and lots of encouragement! She's had a work schedule change and maybe wasn't able to get as much training in this time around, which is tough. We know you will still be successful, Sharon! You've got this!

  •  Sometimes training is a challenge but do what you can and enjoy it.
  •  Woohoo!!!   Go Sharon
  •  Go Sharon go!!!
  •  You’ve got this Shannon. Have fun with it.
     Sharon Jordan, I can’t wait to hear all about it! I hope it is more rewarding–more of an official event–than your last one!
  • What was I going to do? I had said I would, and these girls thought I would! Even though, they knew it would be challenging because of my schedule changes, they knew I could, and they thought I would. After soul-searching and praying, my response was, “I WILL DO IT!”
    I didn’t know how, but I knew I would!
    I took care of a few things I had to do before lunch, and then headed on up to the Runner’s  Expo at the convention center. The Marathon that is held this weekend every year is a very big deal, and there are runners from all over the country here to run a marathon on February 14. There is a “Family Fun Run” and the “Neon Night 5K” held the night before.
    At the Expo, there were over 100 vendors along with information, course maps, and the final opportunity to register. I wanted to get a feel for the event before making my decision. As I  walked around and looked at the memorabilia, souvenirs for successful runners, water bottles, nutrition bars, glow gear and more, I played out scenarios. Scenario 1 saw me running across the finish line, arms in the air, with a victory cheer from the spectators. Scenario 2 was me walking alone in the dark arriving at the Finish Line just as they were taking it down, and no one to be seen anywhere but my loyal husband and son.
    Scenario 2 held a lot of power over me because of the fiasco of the last run. True, this was a better organized run involving hundreds more people, but I was aware that these people were  definitely more experienced runners and could very easily all finish ten to twenty minutes before me.  Success to me would be completing the distance in any amount of time because I had done next to nothing in 7 weeks. So I decided that my definition of success was not equal to those who would be my running companions.
    Hence, Sharon’s It’s Possible Daylight 5K was born.
    After not registering at the Expo, and not buying the t-shirt that said,
    “If you’re behind me, you probably didn’t train, either,”
    Sharon's Feb Run2I drove around plotting out the best course for my run. I decided on the 1.5 miles around Broadway at the Beach that the other runners would begin with. Their race would start at 7:00 pm. My race would start at 5:00 so I could finish before dark. Keep in mind, I had never trained to walk/run in cold temperatures. It was 30 degrees, and I am much happier when it is 70.
    I was not sure if I could endure the cold or the distance, but I was prepared to slow my pace as much as needed to cover that distance because I said I would! I decided my course would end at my gym, Planet Fitness which was located .7 miles from Broadway at the Beach cutting through parking lots at Target and Lowes. If I was frozen or fallen, I could be picked up by my son, Jay who was circling around keeping an eye on me for safety. He would then whisk me over to the gym where I could go in and finish the distance on the treadmill because I said I would. I laid out the course so an extra half lap around Broadway would get me to the 3.1 (5K) mark at the door of Planet Fitness!
    Sharon's Feb Run3Here’s how it turned out:
    We got to BATB at 5. I found out my phone was dead or near dead so I would not be able to keep contact with Jay, nor would I be able to check my speed (which is the motivating factor, as I like to beat my speed along the way). The solution was to use Jay’s phone. We took some time downloading an app for me to check my distance and speed. By this time, it was near 5:30 and the runners for the Family Fun Run were gathering. There were hundreds of them from ages 4 to 94, it seemed.
    “My people!” I exclaimed. Jay and I both got caught up in the excitement, and I decided to blend in with them and go the first mile with them. Their run was only a mile to accommodate the little ones and older ones. As they took the short cut through Broadway, I continued the long route I had planned and made the loop in time to meet Jay at about the 25 minute mark. During that 25 minutes, his phone died because I had been running two apps to track my mileage. By the time I tagged with Jay, I was way into this 5K and knew I could do it. It was invigorating! I was falling in love with exercise again!
     It was getting dark, but I pressed on. I crossed the street, passed some walkers, and met Jay at the next checkpoint. After passing Lowes and Target and going a little further to be sure I covered the 5K distance, I crossed the parking lot and  met Jay at the Finish Line in a respectable time of about 53 minutes with an average pace of 3.5 mph. True, there was no official Finish Line, and my only spectator was Jay (Larry was still working,) but there was victory, just the same! This was my very first full outdoor 5K.  I know I can do better. I know I will do better, but I did it! I said I would, and I am a better person for it.
    This success story is the story about the value of a group coming together to encourage and to believe in one another and hold one another accountable! Thank you is not enough, ladies, but Thank you!
    SharySignature

The Finish Line

Rave2The official ending date for our 7 weeks of Faithful Finish Lines was December 21, but it’s just the beginning for me.

I can’t begin to describe the positive effects this program has had on me. I was so fortunate to be found by Sara and Jill. On our Facebook page tonight Sara asked us our greatest accomplishment and our greatest challenge. Here’s how I responded:

My biggest accomplishment was to get moving. After having no exercise program for years and years, I now exercise three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes. My recorded speed during my last “work-out” was 3.84 mph. My longest walk/run in one session was 3.5. Several times I have surpassed 5K.

I have had several days with eating healthy foods at  90/10% but have averaged 50% near these holidays. Biggest challenge is to write everything down and continue working toward the 90/10.

I am most grateful to be a part of this group because of testimonies like the one I read tonight of one of my new friends who said,

“My biggest accomplishment has been acknowledging that God loves me and doesn’t think that I am a big, fat, lazy slob. He rejoices with me when I make a good choice and He loves me through the bad choices. I CAN make changes for the better and I can take baby steps to focus on the next little goal and the next and the next till I reach a BIG goal. My accomplishment has been a turn around of my thoughts towards God and my feelings about myself away from the negative. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to actually take baby steps. I have always been overwhelmed by any program or diet I’ve tried. I’ve always been overwhelmed by even thinking about trying a program or diet. NOT ANYMORE.”

This program has eternal value, as well as physical. I am honored to be associated with my fellow athletes and coaches. Now I have the privilege of inviting all of my friends to join Faithful Finish Lines. The next session begins on January 5th and runs until February 21.

Faithful FitnessFor more information, check out the website – Faithful Finish Lines. Registration closes January 3rd 2015.

  • Use the code FFLJan2015 and get $10 off your registration. 
  • Please put my name in the “Friend Who Referred You” box and I will receive 1 month free membership in the FFL Community Forum.

You have the choice of several online programs. The one I am a part of is now known as the Awesome 7-Week Community Group Membership.

Register here: http://www.faithfulfinishlines.com/online-programs/

The program is well worth the registration fee. Consider the cost as an investment in yourself for the new year. If you are like me, you will want to continue the program, and the ongoing cost is minimal.

Sara also has openings for 10 bloggers who agree to do the program and blog about their experience. These bloggers obtain free membership as I did. Read about this here: Faithful Finish Line Bloggers Program.

Today would be a great day to join us at Faithful Finish Lines. Whatever physical, spiritual, emotional and personal goals you have, you will find encouragement and coaching here. Here’s what I like best about being a part of Faithful Finish Lines:

  • You set your own goals.
  • You take baby steps.
  • When you fail, you get back up and start again.
  • You make new friends.
  • You get encouragement.
  • You have the privilege to encourage others.
  • You get a prayer partner if you want.
  • You get prayer for whatever you need if you want to share.
  • You get guidance on goal setting and achieving your goals.
  • You get information on health and fitness.
  • You get a scripture and prayer for each week.
  • It seems impossible to fail with this program. They just won’t let you.

Join us today! You’ll love it!

Happy New Year!

For more information:

Here’s a link to what my prayer partner had to say about Faithful Finish Lines: “What Faithful Finish Lines Means to Me

 

 

Where’s the Finish Line?

There are some things you’d like to forget. I would never have expected my wonderful Color Rave Electric Santa Glow Run to be one of those things.

Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14

Rave2I signed up on November 15 after searching the web for what would be my very first ever 5K run. I wanted it to be fun and exciting, and I felt I had chosen the right race for that.  For 21 days, I faithfully walked/ran on the pavement or the treadmill basically every other day to train for it, working up from .5 miles to 3.5 miles in less than an hour. I knew I could do it when the “Big Day” arrived on December 6.

I knew I might have some surprise obstacles to face. The terrain could be difficult. They said it was basically smooth, but who knows what “basically” means. They said, they would run, rain or shine, cold or hot. Who knew but what it would be 32 degrees or lower, or it could be raining! There were unknowns that I would face, and I would face it alone as there was no companion for me once I got on that track.

I had been overwhelmingly encouraged by my family and my friends and  coaches from my group, Faithful Finish Lines. I took their tips to heart, and felt more than ready.

“There will be those faster than you, but there will be those slower than you.”

“Pace yourself. Start out slow, then increase your speed each mile. You will be passing those who started out fast.”

“Have fun.”

“You are an athlete.”

“You can do this!”

Full of enthusiasm and expectation, I arrived at 5:00 to get my T-shirt, glow gear and running number. About 100 people, give or take, were registering. (I had envisioned 1000.) My husband and I stayed under the bleachers to keep from getting wet when the rain started at about 5:30.

The Zumba started at 6:00, and by then the rain had stopped, and I moved along with the music and the leader getting warmed up for the first “race” of my life!

At 6:30, we were lined up at the starting line and were given a brief idea of how the track was laid out. I placed myself about 2/3 back, well behind the runners, but with about 1/3 of the walkers ahead of me that I might be able to pass if I tried. As instructed I would choose a “butt goal.” (For those, not in the know, in athletic circles like the one I’m in, your “butt goal” is the person ahead of you that you’re going to try to pass.) Since you need a “butt” to pass, I thought I’d have plenty to choose from being so far back. I could be the “butt” for the ones behind me.

The first part of the race was 1/2 mile around the speedway track. According to my phone app, I was comfortably going 3.6 miles when I remembered Jill saying your first mile should be the slowest, so I lowered my speed and my “butt goal” moved further ahead.

Then they led us to a large open field. After going through the “snow machine” and getting completely covered in “bubble snow,” (that was a lot of fun) we were to  follow the green glow sticks. There were to be guides to direct us.

I don’t know if that’s where the people behind me got lost, or if I made a wrong turn. All I know is, I looked back and there was only a handful of people behind me. Keep in mind, it was pitch dark, raining steadily, and I stepped in a puddle or two completely soaking my shoes and socks.

I ran a bit to catch up to those in front of me and made the turn into the “tunnel of doom” and back for another lap around the speedway track, hitting one or two more puddles.

I could now see the “finish line,” but had understood that we were to get off the track for more turns on the trail before making our final round to the Finish Line.

MyrtleBeachSpeedway

As I came off the track, I looked down at the app on my phone, just turning over the 2 mile mark. I smiled at seeing a text from my middle son, saying, “Pick up the pace! Go, Mom, go!” I fully intended to do that very thing for the last mile, but as I came out onto the trail, a guide motioned me toward the “snow machine” again, and as I ran through the bubbles, I realized that people were getting hot chocolate, wrapping it up, and heading toward cars. My phone app informed me I had been 2.2 miles. Two girls who had been about 1/3 of the way ahead of me were putting on their jackets, and I asked them if they had finished. They assured me they had, and I had to break it to them that it hadn’t been 3 miles. They said, “Yeah, I don’t think so either.”

The sound man was breaking down his equipment; in spite of the fact that a party had been announced for later.

My husband texted to say, “I can’t find you,” so I called to tell him I’d meet him at the hot chocolate stand. There I found my son, his girlfriend, and Larry there to greet me. Their smiling faces and hugs met me amidst my disappointment and bewilderment as to what had happened. What had gone wrong?

Was it the weather?

Was it the low turnout?

Too few volunteers to get everyone steered on the right course?

Or was the course improperly laid?

Or did I miss something?

I will never know.

Does it matter?

No, it doesn’t matter what prevented my very first ever 5K run from being the Victorious event I had envisioned. What does matter is what I will do next!

What will I do next? I will immediately schedule another event, the sooner the better! Forgetting those things that lie behind, I press on.

I think I get it. When things don’t go your way, forget it and press on. There are disappointments in life, unexpected turns in the road, no apparent guides to help you out. The crowd ahead of you is out of sight, and the crowd behind you has disappeared, but the answer is clear: Press on!

It was the strangest feeling to have that other mile in me. I knew I would have made it, but I had the strong sense of not wanting to be cheated, not wanting to miss out. I am reminded of the old saying, “He died with the music in him.” I had a mile left in me.

My life lesson? When I come to the end of each day, I want to be sure I’ve won the day by finishing my course for the day. I want to be sure I did what God wanted me to do. Did I encourage others enough, did I accomplish enough, did I please God? The course is laid out, my steps are ordered, and the Guide is available, I have my Personal Guide, the Holy Spirit. If I pay attention I won’t get lost or miss my way, or miss out on anything. I’ll end the day at the Finish Line with the joy of victory I expected, but missed out on tonight!

I can’t end the post without stating that I am so grateful for the privilege to be associated with Faithful Finish Lines. My life has been enriched, if not transformed, by Sara’s instructions and encouragement. I am thrilled to be a part of the great community of inspired and inspiring fellow Finish Liners. The experience tonight was important because I set a goal, I trained for it, I prepared for it, and I learned from it, and besides that it was, after all, a lot of fun!

 

My Pile of Wet Clothes
My Pile of Wet Clothes

Have you ever been disappointed in the outcome of a big event? Any life lesson you’ve learned along your path? Please tell us! And keep pressing toward the mark of what really matters, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 SharySignature

4 Weeks to the Finish Line

Faithful FitnessOn December 31, 2013, near midnight, I chose 26 guide words, one for each letter of the alphabet. This took the place of yearly goals, New Year’s resolutions or the ever popular “one word.” The idea was to let these words guide me toward transformation, a new me, fulfilling Romans 12:1

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

These words were to be thought about, prayed over, and acted upon. I blogged about these words in the A to Z Challenge. E was for exercise. ALL I DID was meditate on the word and it’s value in my life. I also talked to the Lord every now and then about what exercise would look like if it became a part of my life.  Then in October amidst my 31 Days of Writing Challenge, Sara and Faithful Finish Lines found me and rescued me from a life of unhealthy eating, no exercise, and unwanted pounds.

Since November 3, I have been following this amazing program. With three weeks behind me, I am astonished at the change in me!

My husband is hearing me say strange things like,

“I’m going by the gym on my home from work.”

“This meal has really good protein.”

“I am an athlete!”

This is coming from someone who has never been an athletic person. I was always the last one picked at softball, I nearly flunked badminton because I could not get that racket to connect with the ball in PE class. I am sure I am the least athletic person you could know. As long as I can remember, I have always felt that I was ten to 20 pounds overweight. About 20 years ago a friend and I successfully reached our desired weight and I kept that off for three years.

‏rollsThen we started having business meetings once a week at a restaurant called Quincy’s, and I willingly succumbed to the deliciousness of the homemade buttery yeast rolls that were brought out to the table.This started a gradual weight gain which continued to the present time. Other than two brief periods of short term weight loss, I basically did nothing to lose this weight, or change my eating habits. I thoroughly enjoyed foods with rich sauces and cheese and all manner of sweets.

I am incredibly grateful for the changes that have occurred in my life over the last three weeks. I absolutely feel and declare that this will be a lifetime change for me. I am enjoying it far too much to not pursue it. Here’s the list of what I’ve learned so far.

 

Twenty-Four Things I’ve Learned While Running Toward the Finish Line

celery and appleAbout Food:

  1. The more good foods you eat, the less attraction there is to bad foods.
  2. If you eat less starchy, fatty foods, you will have more room for good foods like celery, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, apples, grapes, and bananas.
  3. Salads make a fabulous meal, even without globs of blue cheese dressing. (This was truly a surprise!)
  4. Water is your friend.
  5. After not having diet drinks for two days, they taste bitter.
  6. If you drink diet drinks anyway after not having them for two days, the bitterness goes away, and they taste good again.
  7. Celery and apples are my favorite foods.
  8. You can change bad habits.

About Exercise:

  1. The more you exercise, the better you eat.
  2. You can do more than you think you can.
  3. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be scary or boring.
  4. Going to the gym can be really fun!
  5. Passing time on the treadmill by meditating verses or praying for others will bring you joy.
  6. Exercise gives you energy.
  7. Exercise improves your mood.
  8. You can create new habits.

About People:

  1. There are some wonderful people in the world.
  2. There are people who have struggled with things I have never had to face.
  3. There are people who have an amazing ability to bring others together with a common goal of better fitness.
  4. I can benefit from the experiences and wisdom of others.

Other Things I Have Learned:

  1. God answers prayer in surprising ways.
  2. Many things are not as hard as you think they will be.
  3. It is fun to understand why your husband likes to work out and eat healthily.
  4. If you mess up, it is not the end of the world.

The highlight of the week was when the child of one of the members in our group accepted the Lord as his Savior. It is a joy to share in the struggles and victories of those who would be strangers except for the wonderful privilege of technology and the caring and wisdom that brought us together in Faithful Finish Lines. It’s 4 Weeks to the Finish Lines. Let’s go!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week. Here are two of my “Gratefulness” posts, I’d love to share with you:

Three Things I’m Grateful For

A Thankful Heart

SharySignature

5 Weeks to the Finish Line

Faithful FitnessDear Bill,

I got your message, and I am so glad you got to go on your cross-country skiing trip. As you requested, I will be glad to tell you how I’ve been doing with Faithful Finish Lines. Here are my results for the second week:

Wrote down what I ate every day

5 out of 7 days had no sweets

Added grapes, apples, celery to my diet every day

Added salads twice

Did a .73 mile outdoor walk on Monday

Went to the gym on Wednesday 1.5 miles in 31 minutes on elliptical with interval training

Went to the gym on Friday and did 1.87 miles on the treadmill in 40 minutes. This was when I knew I was going to make it!

Went to the gym on Sunday and did 1.62 in 30 miniutes on the treadmill.

And the big news is I signed up for the

Myrtle Beach SC – The Color Rave Electric Santa Snow Glow Run – December 6, 2014

Now that is BIG news!

While you’re on your trip, Bill, be sure you’re getting enough protein. As you know I’m a big fan of quinoa, one of the best sources of protein in the world. I’m also adding some string cheese to my snack list.

I’ve never experienced anything like Faithful Finish Lines. I consider this plan and this group with Sara and Jill and the other girls a marvelous answer to prayer!

Something else Sara told us  to think about is “incorporating a meaningful mission into our Faithful Finish Lines goal.”  My mission personally is to get healthy, lose weight, and gain more energy. Sara is suggesting that we find a way to reach outside of ourselves and do something for someone else within that mission.

Who can I help through doing this? Should I donate a can of food for each mile walked, (counting each week’s totals) or should I give a mile of prayer to certain individuals? I don’t know about this yet. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

runnerNow here’s what I’m super excited about: “My Top Ten Verses to Run With.” Some of these verses I’ve known and meditated for years; others are not quite as familiar. Each verse leads to the next so the path is easy to follow. I take one verse for a tenth of a mile or more and meditate it as I run/walk.

This gives my mind something to do, and strengthens my spirit while my body is working out. Just thinking about it makes me want to go walking. So follow the path these verses take you on. I know you’ll be glad you did. Hurry back! I’ll look forward to hearing about your progress as well!

Your friend,

Dr. Sharon

My Top Ten Verses to Run With

  1. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  2. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10
  3. Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full. John 16:24
  4. Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe you receive them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:24
  5. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea,’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatsoever he says. Mark 11:23
  6. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, my fortress, my God in Him will I trust. Psalm 91:2l
  7. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
  8. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because He trusts in thee. Isaiah 26:3
  9. Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
  10. Delight in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your 5 . Psalm 37:4

Bonus:

5 More Verses to Run With

  1. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7
  2. Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
  3. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  4. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6
  5. For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Psalm 91: 11, 12

 

6 Weeks to the Finish Line

Have fun reading the story about Dr. Sharon and Bill’s first week of Faithful Finish Lines, then pick up you gift at the end of the story, and consider leaving a gift for someone else in the comments.

Dr Sharon3Last week, Bill came to see his doctor and friend, Dr. Sharon. He was concerned about his appearance in a recent vacation photograph and appealed to Dr. Sharon for help with his problem. Fortunately, Dr. Sharon had run across the help they needed in a blog called Faithful Finish Lines where Sara Borgstede promised to lead the group in achieving fitness goals they set for themselves. She would use a common sense approach with faith, exercise, and goal setting as her method of operation. At the end of the appointment, Dr. Sharon gave Bill a pat on the back and said, “I’ll sign us up, Bill, and when I find out what we are suppose to do first, I’ll give you a call.”

Faithful FitnessAs promised, Dr. Sharon called Bill and gave him the weekly guidance from Sara.

“Here’s what she says to do, Bill. Write this down. Three words: Food Log and Movement. That’s it.”

“Food log and movement. Got it. What does it mean?”

“It mean write down what you eat, whatever it is and get moving. Walk, run, dance, any kind of movement or exercise just do something and do more than you usually do.That’s all we do the first week. Then there’s just six more weeks to go. We are going to cross the finish line on December 23!”

“Yes ma’am!”

“Bill, let’s meet on Monday, November 10th to talk about what we accomplished this week, and then make a game plan for Week 2.”

“Yes ma’am! I’ll look forward to it”

A week later, Bill sauntered cheerfully into Dr. Sharon’s office.

Let’s go to the snack room, Bill. I think we’ll be more comfortable there.”

food logThey sat down at the small table and Bill started off by absentmindedly reaching his hand into the bowl of celery sticks on the table. “Well, here’s how it went for me,” he announced proudly. “I did like you said, I wrote down everything I ate, and I started moving. I ran 12 miles a day, and I lost 12 pounds. I have measured my arms and they now measure 2 inches more of solid muscle.”

Dr. Sharon looked at Bill in astonishment, “Bill, what on earth are you talking about? What you have said is utterly impossible. My results were nothing like that, and I was quite pleased with myself.”

“Don’t let that disturb you, my friend. Keep in mind that I am a fictitious character and fantastic results can happen to the fictitious!”

“I see your point,” Dr. Sharon acquiesced. “Well, here’s my results: I wrote down everything I ate. My greatest day for sugar intake was Saturday when I succumbed to the persuasion of 2 cupcakes, a brownie, a zinger and 2 and a half cookies. I also ate some celery that day. I went to the gym twice during the week and walked in the neighborhood three other days building up to 1.2 miles. I weighed this morning, Bill, and just one week after starting Sara’s program, the scales were down .7 pounds. Considering that I am not a fictitious person, that’s pretty good for me!

“Those are pretty impressive results! So, how do you feel, Dr. Sharon?”

“I feel great, Bill! I believe this is a program I can really stick with. There’s a lot of support in Sara’s group, and of course it’s good to be working with you, as well, Bill. You’re really encouraging me in this.”

“Glad I can return the favor, Dr. Sharon, and now what do we do for Week 2?”

fruit “This week, Bill, we add fruit and vegetables to our diet. I have already discovered the more good foods I eat, the less attraction there is to bad foods. We are suppose to keep moving, and I am going to keep writing down what I eat. Seeing all of that sugar on my list last week clearly showed me where my real problem was. Adding the fruit and vegetables are going to be the solution to that problem. We’re also suppose to set our fitness goal by the end of the week.”

Bill stood up to leave, “Mrs. Sara is a genius, isn’t she, Dr. Sharon?”

“I believe you’re right, Bill. Of course remember the title, Faithful Finish LInes. Without faith. . .”

“It is impossible to please the Lord,” Bill finished the well-known verse.

“I have faith, Bill, that we are going to lose weight, get healthier, have more energy, and please the Lord all by following Sara’s Faithful Finish Line.”

“I’m with you, Dr. Sharon. I’m already looking forward to having my picture taken on the beach at my next vacation.”

“Me too, Bill. I’ll meet you back here next week, and we can talk about our success at adding fruit and vegetables to our daily food intake. I’m expecting great things from you. I can’t wait to hear what you say you accomplish.”

“I’m excited about it, too, Doc. I really think I’ve found the secret: have fun, make progress, count your successes, and. . . if you are a fictitious character, you can make up whatever you want. But Doc, in your case, you better stick to reality.”

“I know you’re right, Bill. I’ll do that. See you next week!”

Be sure to check in next week, to see how our friends are progressing!

Here’s the gift I mentioned: It’s a thought you can take with you.

 

Count your small successes.

They will be the building blocks for reaching higher goals.

In other words, don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back and say “Good job!” Have fun!

Please leave a word of wisdom or encouragement for someone else as your gift.

 

 

7 Weeks to the Finish Line

While completing the 31 Day Writing Challege in October, I stumbled upon another exciting opportunity. I had been praying about my next step in reaching my yearly goals, and I have found the answer as you will read about here. Come join the fun.

Dr Sharon3“Bill, nice to see you, Is it time for your yearly check-up, already?” Dr. Sharon asked as she warmly shook Bill’s hand and motioned for him to sit on the end of the examining table.

“No, Dr. Sharon, it’s not time yet, but I came to see you about this!” Bill carefully pulled something out of his pocket and hesitantly opened his hand for her to see.”

“It looks like you had a nice time on your vacation.”

“Look closer, Doc! Don’t you see it? Surely you would be able to guess why I am here after looking at that!”

“I’m sorry, Bill. You seem distressed. What am I missing here?” the doctor asked.

big man“50 pounds!” Bill shouted. “Don’t you see it! It’s right there! I’ve got to get rid of it, and I’ve got to get rid of it right now! You’ve got to help me, Doc. I’ve got to get rid of 50 pounds!”

Dr. Sharon soberly shook her head, “Bill, I hear what you are saying, but you know I deal in matters of the heart. I was able to help you when you were feeling hopeless, and I helped you when you were in fear. I even helped you when you felt so good you had thankfulness flowing through your veins, but losing weight? I don’t know about that. That’s not my specialty. In fact, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself.”

Bill looked alarmed, then he looked solemnly down at the picture as she returned it to him. “Dr. Sharon, you’ve been my friend and doctor through all of my trials and joys for the last two years.  I thought you would be here for me in the hour of my greatest need. I guess I was wrong.” He sadly turned toward the door.

“Wait, Bill,” Dr. Sharon reached out and touched his arm. “I may know someone who can help us.” She went over to her desk as Bill cautiously tilted his head toward her with a glint of hope in his eyes. She sat down and began moving her fingers agilely over the keyboard. “Here it is,” she yelled jubilantly as she turned her laptop to show Bill the screen. “Here’s the answer for us, Bill!”

Faithful Fitness

Faithful Finish LInes

Bill looked at Dr. Sharon suspiciously. He had never seen her so excited, so unprofessionally excited. “Uh, Doc, what do you mean? What are you talking about?”

“I’ll tell you what I mean, Bill. You and I are going to get fit and lose weight. We are going to have our picture taken at the beach, and not only are we going to look awesome, we are going to feel awesome! Bill, we are going to feel better than we have ever felt. We are going to have more energy, more youthfulness, and better health. Did I mention that we are going to look awesome, too, Bill. What do you think of that? No more being embarrassed when we see ourselves in a picture. No more deleting selfies because we look overweight, no more unbuttoning our pants at the dinner table because we are uncomfortable. We are on to something big here, Bill, and our friend Sara is going to help us every step of the way, and I do mean step!”

on the beach

“I don’t know about this, Doc. I haven’t exercised in years, and I’m used to eating whatever I want whenever I want.There’s no way this will work for me. It’s just not something I do. It will be painful, and you know I don’t do pain. Why, I’ve been in here whining about every little thing; you surely don’t think I could go through a rigorous training program and start counting every milligram I put in my mouth, do you? Well, do you?”

man exercising

“No, Bill, now that I think about it, I really don’t think you could do that, or would do that, and I wouldn’t ask either of us to do that. But look what she says right here:

“I promise this won’t be a strict, harsh program, but fun, invigorating, and exciting. You will feel successful and motivated as you head into 2015.”

Bill brightened somewhat. “Fun, invigorating, exciting. Now you are talking my language. Okay, if you think she can help us, I’m in. Let’s do it! What’s the first step?”

Check in with us next week to see how Bill and Dr. Sharon take the first steps toward the Finish Line. You might also enjoy reading Sara’s 31 Days of Weird Faithful Fitness.

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I’d sure love to hear your experience with weight loss and/or exercise. What’s one tip or word of encouragement you have for us? As you can guess, we need all we can get! Have a great week and keep moving!

 

And here’s a word of encouragement for you:

Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:24

Consider this:The way to control what you believe is to control what you think.

I’m also linking up with Coffee for Your Heart with Holly Gerth.

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