Exactly 60 days ago, I began a challenge. This challenge was tough. At times, it made me want to give up and hide under my blankets. This challenge was bigger than the weight loss. It wasn't until after Mass and mom's group this morning that I realized why I needed this challenge. My fitness journey revealed to me what I need for my spiritual journey.
60 days ago, I signed up for the T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge. You were to submit specific photos and measurements and do one or more of the T-Tapp workouts for 60 days. The pictures of me were awful. You see all of your problem areas magnified. I almost didn't sign up. I convinced myself that I could do it, signed up and was gung-ho. I really thought that I had the stuff to do this. I wanted to win a trip to Florida, which Canadian wouldn't?
This is so much like my spirituality. I go to Mass every Sunday, sometimes even during the week. I do the exercise even when I don't feel like it because I know that I need it. I need Jesus. I need Him to help me through every challenge that comes my way. Do I always have my heart in it? The answer is NO! For whatever reason, I do some days more than others. My workouts were like this.
At the beginning of the challenge I had fire and drive. I worked out without getting distracted. I put in the effort for the results, I wanted to be skinny like I was before I had children. Then I got a bug and couldn't work out for a few days. Then the baby was fussy and didn't sleep well because he was cutting teeth. Then my knee hurt. Then it had been so long that it was hard to start over. I could have given up, but I didn't. I began again, but it wasn't the same.
When I neglect my prayer life, my life gets hard. I get distracted and don't pray as much. I lose focus. Heaven seems like it is so far away. I want to give up because being a Christian is hard. It is hard to deny oneself. It is hard to pick up your cross, let alone carry it willingly. I start over and commit to praying again and then life gets easier, not easier as in things go my way, but easier as in I can handle the bumps better.
A few weeks into the challenge, I added supplements (Alfalfa) to my diet and began skin brushing. My body began to detox and I felt vigorous again. I tried a new T-Tapp workout to give my body more of a challenge. It felt good to work hard, but I wasn't seeing the results that I had hoped for and lost spirit.
Does any of this sound familiar? Sometimes I commit to reading my bible more or to reading a spiritual book. I want to detox and come closer to God. I put in a lot of effort (or at least I think that I do) and then if I don't FEEL God's presence or FEEL God's love, I put in less effort. It is wrong, I know this, but it is who I am. I want to be a winner in God's eyes. I want to shed all the bad, but it is hard. Especially if you let your FEELings influence your actions.
I didn't try hard enough during the challenge. I skipped workouts, I let myself get distracted and did not get the results that I had hoped for. But that is not what it is all about and that's what I found out later.
Even though I don't see my ideal reflection in the mirror, my body is better for it. I got rid of some of the toxins, I built some muscle and got rid of some fat. I am sure that my joints are thanking me, my heart is thanking me and my brain is thanking me even if I don't see those things. I have more work to do, my journey has only begun.
My spiritual life is like my workouts. I need to work on it even if I don't see the results I want. I know that God is working on me even if I don't FEEL like He is. I will always have work to do in coming closer to God. I also know that if I don't put in the effort and give up for a bit that it will be harder to get into it again. I can't let my prayer life slide anymore than I can let my health slide. I need God and the people around me need me to be fit so that I can serve them. My husband needs a wife, a healthy wife and not a skinny wife. My kids need a mom that can keep up to them and to challenge them and to care for them. I can't do any of these things if I am lethargic physically or spiritually. Teresa Tapp's motto is "Yes you can!" God's motto is "Yes you can!" He even gives me the graces to do it.
I debated on whether or not to lay it out on the table and reveal my before and after photos. Mind you, I am all for modesty and I wouldn't normally share photos like this, but I want to show you that despite all of the struggles I managed to see improvements. I lost a total of 21 inches in 60 days (you measure inches and not lbs) and dropped about 3-4 dress sizes. I have a long way to go spiritually and physically, but with God's grace I will enter heaven after a long and healthy life.