Fitness Friday, Friday's Letters, and 30 Days of Thanks

Today's Fitness Fridays, Friday's Letters, and 30 Days of Thanks posts are all combined.  Enjoy!

Friday's Letters

dear Friday: I'm glad you're here. dear husband: I'm excited for our date tonight!  Breaking Dawn Part 2 here we come!  dear yucky cold: Please leave.  Apparently my at home remedy of sweating you out isn't working.  dear pinterest: I'm addicted.  All over again. dear husband: I'm excited to celebrate our first married Thanksgiving!  I'm so thankful for you and our sweet family.  dear boys: Your smiles light up my life.  You won't ever know the impact you've had on me. dear Thanksgiving: I'm excited about you. And excited about cooking!  dear God: I know I'm not as faithful as I need to be in my time with You, but thank you for being with me.  Thank you for Your answered prayers this week and thank you for growing me.

I'm linking up with Jen for Fitness Fridays.

Today, I want to talk about something I think we all struggle with: fitting it all in!  I feel like a broken record when I say I make exercise a part of my daily life, but I say it over and over again because it's true and that's how we should all be, too!

Kevin tells me I over do it sometimes and I know he's right.  Truth is, I really want to be the best wife for him, best Anna Belle for our sweet boys, the best I can be at my job, a stronger Christian who spends more time with God, and as fit as I can be.  In real life, it's hard to be your best in every area, but these are the most important things in my life, and I want to be my best in all of these areas.  Sometimes, I get tired. Really tired.  

But you know what?  If I don't exercise, I'm even tired-er (if that's a word.).  And I don't feel like I'm the best for any of my people, my job, or myself.  

The things I'm going to share below are my advice, my recipe for success, if you will, on how to fit it all in.  There are areas that I need to improve upon and things I can do better, but knowing these things helps.

  1. Plan Ahead  - Plan everything ahead.  Plan the days you'll exercise (should be 3-5 days a week), run, and do a long run (if you do these).  Plan your meals.  I downloaded a weekly meal calendar, modified it to fit my needs, and plan out what we'll eat each night every Friday.  Sometimes, we'll end up going out to eat or having something different that what I've planned, but it sure helps me use the foods we already have at home and buy what we need at the grocery store.  Plan your clothes.  Ok, I struggle with this one for me.  I don't plan my clothes for every day, but we do get out clothes for the boys and Kevin each night and iron them so they're ready in the morning.  Sometimes, if we're feeling really good, we'll even get out 3-4 outfits per person and have them ready on Sunday night.  When you plan ahead, you have less room to not do something because you've already planned it.
  2. Be Intentional - When it comes to exercise and fitness, you have to be intentional.  Toning up, getting faster and stronger, and/or losing weight doesn't happen over night.  It's a process.  And it's a process you have to start over and over again if you aren't intentional about it.  Just as our body needs water and food each day, we also need exercise.  
  3. Keep a Record - I think it's important to keep a record of your exercise.  In my planner (Erin Condren if you're curious), I use a pink pen to keep track of my runs and workouts.  I keep track of my miles and time as well as what parts of my body I've worked out and when I do my ab work, push ups, and pull ups, I write those numbers down.  I also have an Excel spreadsheet (you can call me a nerd) that I log all of this in.  If that's not enough, my gym's FitLinxx system tracks the weight lifted and I can also add in all of my cardio information to keep track of everything on their website.  Keeping a record of your workouts not only lets you see how you're improving, it also shows you when you've been slack.
  4. Don't Make Excuses - I don't like excuses. Not one bit. There are always some people who are looking for excuses about why they didn't do this or that or why they can't lose weight/exercise.  I don't like them (not the people, the excuses).  Excuses are just our way of making ourselves feel better about doing something we need to do (or said we'd do) and we didn't do.  I feel too tired to exercise sometimes, but I do it anyway.  Thursday morning is a prime example.  I've got this yuck that's going around and really could have used a few more minutes of sleep or some downtime after getting ready, but I wanted to get a workout in because I had an event on Thursday night.  I went ahead and got ready (yes, I get up, shower, put on makeup, dry my hair, workout, shower again, fix my hair, throw on my planned clothes, and run out the door with some Chobani yogurt and pretzels as my breakfast (and I do it this way a few days a week because it's the only time I can get in a workout or shorter run and also because I feel better when I workout in the morning) - when I say I'm intentional about fitting it in, I'm intentional. :)  ) and did a short workout.  I ran a mile and every quarter mile, I stopped and did 10 push ups (the real kind), 25 sit up planks with 10 pounds, and 10 pull ups.  Any workout is better than none.  Don't make excuses.
When I went back and read what I wrote, I feel like I sound like a drill Sergeant.  I didn't intend to.  I just wanted to offer a few ways to fit it all in.  We're all busy, we all work (whether inside the home or out), we have families, we have household responsibilities, and we have a body to take care of.  Don't make excuses. You don't have to train like an Olympian or think of exercise as something that makes you tired (which it will when you first start and it will when you fit it in your busy schedule and it will when you run hard), but something you're doing to invest in yourself.  The muscle tone, definition, and energy you feel will be worth it.  I promise!  

Day 16 {Prayers} 

I am thankful for prayers today.  Prayers can be simple or elaborate, but they mean so much.  I am thankful that I live in a country where I can pray without trouble.  I am thankful for my prayer journals, too.  Since I was 14/15, I've kept prayer journals.  I haven't written everyday, but I like to journal my prayers.  I tend to fall asleep when I say them laying in bed and lost my concentration other times.  Having a journal helps me tremendously.

I am thankful that I can turn over all those things that worry me (trust me, there are a lot), stress me out, and are out of my control (as much of life is) to One who is always in control.  I'm thankful that I can praise God for His mighty blessings and grace.  I'm thankful for prayers.