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He makes me new, He is making me new

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

P90X progress report

Ok, so not much to report, except, I completed my second week today! WOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Soreness has now become a way of life, a welcome and expected part of the process :-)

I am noticing that it is becoming slightly easier to get through each workout with 2 exceptions:
-Ab Ripper X; those 18 minutes of core exercises always has me reaching for the fast forward button!!!
-Yoga X was still very, VERY intense!

I am also noticing that I need bigger weights for some of the routines, (that's right BIGGER!! ;-)) which is encouraging, though expensive to do...

This Thursday I begin my third and final week in Phase 1, then comes the much dreaded "recovery" week. I use quotes because although it is a recovery from strength training, it is a very strenuous week in other ways, (Yoga X twice in one week..YOUZA).

Wish me luck! :-)

On a tastier note, after considering spending lost of cash on a "Recovery Drink", which is supposed to help the recovery of the muscles, replenish glycogen, etc etc I did some internet research and stumbled upon an article extolling the wonderful restorative powers of Chocolate Milk! That's right, chocolate milk can be used as a recovery drink as it contains the same ratio of protein/Carbs, and well, it's cheap and tastes DELICIOUS!

So I look forward to my recovery drink every day now, after my very tough work out!

Thank you for reading and have a happy and chocolatey day everyone (all 5 of you) ! :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

P90X progress report

Ok, so it is only day 5, why bother with a progress report?

Well, mostly because writing about it helps me stay motivated, so it is a completely selfish motive, please indulge me....or don't...it's not as though I can tell whether or not anyone is readin... ;-)

My first impression of this program is..IT ROCKS! I really like it, I like how hard it is, I like Tony Horton (yes that's right, I SAID IT!) and his style of instructing, I like the variety of work outs, I just plain like it. Don't get me wrong, it is very hard work, but I guess that's what I was looking for, a good challenge!

So, day 5 and I'd have to say, as much as it hurts, I liked the Plyometrics work out the best. It was by far the most challenging for me, because it is hard core cardio and balance and I think the fact that I was able to complete it on my first try made me feel, well, really good!

I like all the strength training work outs because it is what comes easiest to me, though the chest and back work out was a BRUTAL way to begin...

I am finding it easier to eat way better as a result because I am motivated to fuel my body properly so I can get through the workouts, which is an added unexpected bonus.

Now, the big question is, will I still feel this way 2 weeks from now? Stay tuned.... ;-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

P90X

I have to think that of the say..5 people who read my blog ;-) at least 2 of you have got to have heard of P90X, "extreme home fitness" program by now.

For those of you who haven't (that'd be about 3 of you) here it is in a nutshell: you spend about $140 for a set of workout DVD's and a couple of instruction books on how to reaaaaaally torture yourself for 90 days in order to achieve a stronger, leaner, healthier you. You follow the exercise schedule outlined, work out 6 days a week and eat lots and lots of protein.

Now, typically I HATE jumping on the bandwagon of seemingly too good to be true hyped up infomercial type "programs". Mostly because I have engaged in some sort of physical activity for the past 10 years and I subscribe to the idea that as long as you are willing to sweat and keep at it, you will be healthier and generally stronger and leaner, no need to do anything EXTREME.

But...I'm in the mood for a challenge. For the first time in years I do not have a gym membership (due to current circumstances)and I have been feeling sluggish and lazy and generally NOT comfortable in my own body for months now, and feel like saying ENOUGH! I AM going to do something extreme, just to prove I CAN and to improve my overall well being.

I also saw the results firsthand in a good friend of mine (Thanks for the inspiration D.!!!) which made me think...I would NOT mind that! ;-) That made me dig deeper, ask questions, read the books and even try a couple of the workouts, which in turn lead me to believe I would enjoy pushing myself in this way, achieving a new level of fitness, and well, looking better couldn't hurt right? ;-)

So here I go...I am excited to begin and wondering how much more sore I will be typing in say..6 days time? I'll keep all 5 of you posted ;-)

Ragamuffins

I don't really have any new words of my own, it's just, the more I read Brennan Manning, the more I want to share his words with everyone out there who is on the journey I find myself on.
The journey towards towards a stripped down and genuine self, towards real love for others, towards true and utter freedom in Jesus.

So here are some words that deeply convicted me as I read them last night:

From "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning
The letter of James counsels: Confess your sins to one another(James 5:16). This sanctuary practice aims to guide us in accepting ownership of our ragamuffin status, but as Dietrich Bonhoeffer noted, "He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, not withstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final breakthrough to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everyone must conceal his sin from himself and from their fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!" At Sunday worship, as in every dimension of our existence, many of us pretend to believe we are sinners. Consequently, all we can do is pretend to believe we have been forgiven. As a result, our whole spiritual life is pseudo-repentance and pseudo-bliss.

That pretty much sums it up for me. Once again, it's those masks we wear, except in "christian culture" it's more than wanting to one up each other or make ourselves look better, it is more than that. It is not allowing ourselves to embrace the fact that even though we are FULLY forgiven by our Creator, we really are still sinners, struggling to keep going, in the muck and mire of this chaotic earthly life. Not one of us is better than any other. Not one of us has it all figured out.
I have been in situations where I have judged others for their sins. I am not above it, I have thought "shouldn't they know better?" and I have issued judgment instead of acceptance and forgiveness. And then I have been on the receiving end of that question " Laura, shouldn't you know better?" It's no fun to be on the receiving end (though I have been on the receiving end of grace and that is nice :-)) to know that you've screwed up, you've hurt and disappointed someone, you have chosen wrong, you have chosen sin.
But, it is no good to be on the giving end either, because, it is not love. It is not what Jesus did for his own, for Peter who chose wrong, for all of us, before we even asked, before we even knew we needed Him.
What He did do is teach us how to love one another.
Can't we just accept and expect that those around us WILL behave sometimes in less than God honoring ways and love them through that? Can't we all see that an outstretched arm is infinitely more helpful than a pointing finger? And if we did, wouldn't people all around us feel safe enough to actually confess their sins to us so they can be free of the burden of loneliness? And wouldn't it be nice to feel safe enough to confess our sins without fear of losing out somehow?

I strive to accept and expect that because it is the only way to true fellowship with others. Honest, open and real relationship with those God has given me to love. I DON'T want to care what people THINK of ME, I want to care more about whether I am loving them well and whether I am being loved well.

I do still care what people think, about me, my image, my "performance" in life, (how do I look, what I do for a living, how my house looks, how my son behaves, how my marriage looks to others, and on and on) but of all the things I have ever wanted, being FREE of this has got to be among the top desires of my heart. To be free of performance anxiety, to be free of "what will people think" -itis, to be free of counterfeit relationships that serve only to stroke our egos.

To live in the peace of knowing that loving gets me way more brownie points ;-) HA! just kiddin'

but seriously, can't we all just get along? :-)


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Jason Mraz

Those who know me know, I love Jason Mraz.

Maybe that's not the right expression, I don't know Jason Mraz, so I don't love HIM per se, but I do love his music and I love his style.

What I most respond to is his genuine approach, his humble appearance, his non pretentious way to present himself. He is one of the most successful musicians out there right now, yet he does not show any signs of being full of himself. On the contrary he seems to have no problem making a fool of himself just to get a laugh out of folks, a quality which I especially admire, as a fellow fool :-)

Maybe I'm wrong, after all, how much can you really know about someone whose job is to present a face, an image and a style that people respond to?
I have been known to be quite cynical at times, but even I would prefer to think he is what we see, true to himself and just really good at sharing what is in his heart and in his mind in a very groovy and eloquent way.

He has a true gift. His music is fun, inspired AND inspiring, moving,dynamic, his song writing is as he puts it wordplay, and he seems to have a heck of a time playing with words as he sings, his vocal talent is among the best in my humble opinion....and he makes it look...easy and fun. Just a treat for the ears all around, and if you see him live, quite the experience for the senses.

I find his enthusiasm down right contagious...his music instantly puts me in a mood....depending on the song it can be a happy silly mood, a dancing mood, a contemplative mood, but I find it almost impossible to not react and respond to it.

So, for those of you who care to listen, here is one of his great performances, I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgCmB0QsL4



Monday, July 05, 2010

No pretense

Among the books I mentioned in my previous blog that I've been reading, there has been a fair amount of Brennan Manning books lately, incidentally, I highly recommend ALL his stuff...and I just, love how absolutely stripped down he is, how honest and real he is, because, that is what I strive to be.

At the risk of being a bit redundant after my last blog.....I HATE getting caught up in playing the game, though I do, I am human after all ;-), but I am happiest when I really have the guts to be open and real, to show everyone my weakness, my fleshly-ness, but neediness, my annoying habits, etc.

Trying to cover up those things after a while can be so exhausting! Not to mention, when I experience being loved AFTER having had the heart to strip myself of all pretense, image maintenance and the like, it is true love, true acceptance of who I truly am, rather than getting those around me to think of me a certain way. One is love at its most pure and powerful state, the other one is nothing but an ego stroke. I don't know about you but I would so much rather have real love....it's kind of like comparing a hot and gooey homemade chocolate chip cookie with a store bought sugar free, "snack well" cookie. ;-)

Brennan also talks about sometimes getting lost in daily life and the daily mundane things, forgetting to notice the wonder all around us, forgetting to enjoy what is designed to be the most enjoyable, and free things in life. Sounds cliche, but it is SO true and so easy to do.

We do have to do the mundane things, obviously, but I am realizing, that I do want to make an effort in the daily grind to notice the wonder around me. It is everywhere around me everyday, and to my advantage, I have a beautiful 4 year old boy, and that means I have a daily reminder of the heart that Christ desires from us.

An open, inquisitive, easily awed, pure heart, full of wonder and trust, ready to receive real love no matter where it comes from, not caught up in image maintenance, not concerned with the future but fully engaged in the present gift.

I truly believe this is the heart Christ desires from us not for his own purposes, but because he really wants to see us in awe, with wondrous eyes, expectant of what He may give us or show us, so that we may really enjoy life to the full...he deeply longs to fellowship with us in that place.

That is what I most desire to be and to have... honesty, wonder, a heart that is open and lives in the present, and an alive fellowship with my Father, Creator, Lover and Friend.

To experience real and honest love from and with my God and those he has given me to enjoy, it is what I cling onto, it is what will endure in this life, it is what I hope my legacy will be.

Followers