Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 2 of Transformation

Today is day 2 of my transformation.

I did level 1-2 of P90 cardio again today. It was harder today in the sense that not only did I know what was coming, but all my leg, rear and torso muscles hurt from yesterday's workout. I actually gained about 2 lbs from yesterday. Can't figure out why, but I did. So, whatever. I drank tea and water only again.

I still need to finish my OWNit365 reading today - I wrote this at 7am, after my workout and while making breakfast for my wife, who is now working out herself. I have no observations yet today in this reading, except Proverbs 11:1 - A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.

This verse is talking about judgment, fairness. A balance is what was used to determine the value of something sold by weight. Today, we call it a scale. A just weight is something that weighs a pound and SAYS it weighs a pound. A false balance could be used by a merchant looking to cheat the customer by saying there was more there than actually was. Inspirationally, this is us using double standards and judging people by a standard they likely don't even know about - our own. THAT is an abomination. Do you judge fat people? People who are a different color or culture? People who make less money than you? Don't hold the same views on their career or children? Are YOU the standard by which you measure others?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Of Fear and Desire

Today is day 1 of my transformation.

It started well, but I had to deal with two competing emotions this morning. One would lead me to worry about what I can't do or face, while the other is drive, motivation. If you read my last post, you would understand my desire, or motivation and drive, to transform myself. What I didn't write about were my fears, at least not at length. I am not talking about the 'good' fear that the Bible teaches us. Fear of the Lord. There is a whole other study on this kind of fear, maybe for another day. Also, there is another kind of desire that is an evil, or lustful desire. I am not talking about those things.

Proverbs 10:24-
"The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted."

Fear paralyzes, desire catalyzes. Fear envies, desire loves. Fear is negative, desire is positive. When I woke up this morning, my mind was dabbling in the fear area. Fear reminds us of our failures, and compels us to live in the 'safe' world. Fear sounds rational and tells us that desire is irresponsible. Fear told me this morning that I was a lazy fat kid. Working out would only make me tired and I would fail at it anyway. The old nature wanted me to conform to the wicked. The wicked has fear come upon him. His fears become self-fulfilling prophecy. What a contrast with the desire of the righteous...

The desire of the righteous. What is that? Because scripture says it will be granted. It is interesting to think about this: Some of you focus on the word "desire" in that phrase and think of a Genie in a lamp scenario. "Man, if I could just act righteous enough, I could get anything I want!!" But how would the scenario change if you focused on the word "righteous"? Consider this passage:

Psalm 37:3-6
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday." (emphasis mine)

Here we are told to trust in the Lord, do good and delight yourself in the Lord. The results? you shall dwell in the land, be fed, and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Think about it. When you delight in someone (men, when you pursued your wives; women, when you fell in love with your husbands), you desire to please them. In reality, in our marriages, when we seek first and only to please our spouse, it in turn brings great joy to us. When both husband and wife are seeking to please each other, its kinda hard for one not to be pleased! When we seek the joy first, though, without much regard to pleasing our spouse, the results are empty. What about God? When we are delighted in the Lord, we are focused on pleasing Him. As a perfect God, he is not selfish - he is a giver. He will take care of your righteous desires.

S0 what am I sayin? Fear is one of our biggest obstacles to success. When we fear God, however, and seek to please Him, our very desires will line up with His desires, which are 100% pure.

Today I began day 1 of Power 90, the precursor to P90X. I got my butt handed to me today. But I expected that. In 90 days, that is going to be a much different post!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Transformation Begins...

Well, here it is. It has been some time since I have posted, and for that I must ask your forgiveness. I am going to be posting a lot more about a big thing in my life. Yep, its ME. I am big. Too big. Since high school, I have not been overweight maybe once. I have lost a lot of weight over the years, but kept finding it again.

All kidding aside, there are some passages of scripture that really stuck with me this last week, and I would like to share some of them with you:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

This one kinda got things rolling for me. I was teaching someone on salvation, and that WE are the purchased possession talked about in Ephesians 1:14. God made that leap off the pages, and I immediately felt as if he was saying “Hey, there, dummy. Look what you have done to that body that I bought and have taken up residence in? Are you glorifying me in that thing?” I realized at that moment that this is a thing that I have been fighting for a long, long time, and a battle that I have consistently lost over the last couple decades. I confessed to God that I didn’t even know what to do to get my body into shape enough where it was MY servant rather than the other way around, or if I could even do it at all. I realized I had been living defeated. Embarassed. Bad thing about living like that, is once it permeates one area, it has a tendency to creep into other areas. But God doesn’t make or purchase junk. Now, do I realize that just losing weight itself doesn’t glorify God? Sure I do. But what it represents in my life, as well as getting to the point where my body is in enough shape that I can at least use it rather than drag it around as a liability and a bad testimony of being out of balance.

I will share more about this decision, and a couple of demons I had to face in my past in another post. This is talking about where I am now. I am grossly overweight, and I don’t feel like I should be. I’d like to be able to go to the pool and take my shirt off without feeling embarrassed. I’d like to not have to buy fat clothes. I’d like to be able to get down on the floor and not first look around for what I will grab to help me back up. How am I going to do this? First, I have to be transparent to you. This is not easy. I like being the mysterious musician. I like having a dry, dark sense of humor. I have broken things down into four major areas of focus for starters:

1. Time with God. I read regularly, but I have noticed lately that reading itself doesn’t mean much. I mean a lost person can read. But what about the connection with the author of the book – God? We can read thru the Bible in a year and still not really connect with God. I am changing my strategy a little bit. Rather than worrying if I finish all my OWNit365 chapters for that day, I am focusing more on having real fellowship with God. If that is 2-3 chapters, or if it is all of them, the goal is fellowship and connection with God. I am not speaking down to those that feel otherwise about their daily reading. I am merely saying that the time that I do read and commune with God in prayer should be more about connecting with my Lord than “getting something” or “doing my daily chores”.

2. Eating habits. I don’t eat horribly, except when I snack. Okay, and at LIFEgroup when people bring all that great food. OKAAAAY, and at dinner when I have 2 helpings… anyway, I am making 3 main changes to what I am doing in the area of nutrition. First, I am cutting out the snacking, and when the need to snack arises, I will have a couple backups in place at all times. Second, I am cutting out ALL second helpings of stuff. One trip, one plate. And each plate will be person sized portions, not Beluga Whale sized. Finally, pop of all kinds is gone, replaced by water and green tea.

3. Activity. I want to do some strenuous activity every day. Sometimes that will mean running, other times bicycling, P90, yoga, stacking wood, men’s workout with guys from church, chasing my boys, wrestling, or maybe just a good walk. Okay, six days a week at least. When I mean strenuous, I mean a good amount of time pushing myself to some previously established limits and beyond. I want to be able to run a mile by end of summer.

4. Journal and accountability. I am going to post, hopefully at least weekly, my progress and experience. Failures, epiphanies, lessons and successes. Whoever you are that reads this, you will be able to hold me accountable to what I am setting out to do.

This is not a “lifestyle change”. I hate that phrase. Overused, underachieved. No, this is a transformation altogether. Starting now. I am not asking you to go on this journey with me. Those who want to follow, that’s great. But this is for me, led by God, I believe. Not for my sake, but for His, as according to the verse above, as he purchased this body.