Friday, April 13, 2012

Discipline Challenge # 1

Now that I've introduced the discipline challenge, I guess it is about time that I tell you about what I am doing for the first challenge.

As I said before, the first challenge is focused on the body. Now before I get into the challenge, I think it is important to point out that there is a fine line between being obsessed with our bodies and taking care of ourselves. Too many women go nuts trying to be "healthy" when in reality they are being overly obsessive and selfish. It all comes down to motives. If you are working out constantly, starving yourself and spending hours on end in front of the mirror just to look beautiful, then you are way too focused on appearance not health.

I have no problem with desiring to look good, but that cannot be your driving force of motivation. As women we have so many things being thrown at us from every direction about how we are supposed to look that it can be easy to compare ourselves to these unrealistic images. What we may not realize is that if we find our value in what we think we see in the mirror or the number on the scale than we are truly missing something.You are beautiful not because of these are beautiful because you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

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We need to be reminded that beauty is not all about appearance, but comes from the heart. Think about this...who is more beautiful; the woman with a supermodel body that wears all the "right" clothes and makeup but who has a bad attitude and is so self focused that all she talks about is herself OR the woman who may not be magazine cover worthy, but who exudes joy and confidence in who she is in Christ? The first woman tries to look beautiful on the outside but is so obsessed with herself that it makes everyone around her feel far from beautiful. The second woman knows she is beautiful, not because of herself, but because of her heart. Her joy brings beauty to those around her. A genuine smile is much more beautiful than a perfectly done up face plastered with makeup.
1 Samuel 16:7 
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Psalm 31:3 
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
 Does this mean that we are not to care about what we look like? Of course not! We just need to check our motives first. I love dressing nice and doing my hair and makeup, it makes me feel good. I don't believe that is wrong as long as my heart is in the right place first. So when it comes to our body we need to take care of it inside and out. We can't become sluggish and careless about what we are putting in it or on it. The bible says we are to honor the Lord with our bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
So, how do we do this? Well, first it is important to be conscience of what you are eating or putting in your body. You probably know how to make healthy choices, it is just a matter of putting it into practice. Drinking sufficient water is also a vital part of this. I have noticed that the amount of water I drink can have a significant effect on how I am able to function. It is also important to get moving and exercise. It is easy to neglect this for a number of reasons but I have to remind myself that I feel much better physically if I take some time to get moving, even just a little, every day. It may take some discipline(hence the discipline challenge) to make these healthy choices but if you have a plan it is possible! So without further ado, here's this weeks challenge: Name one healthy habit that you want to work on establishing in your life over the next five weeks. It could be cutting back on junk food, fast food or soda pop. It could be exercise more, drink more water, or to get more sleep.

For me, this does not involve any drastic changes or going on a rigorous diet and exercise plan. I do have great respect for people that work to lose a lot of weight with a lot of exercise and strict eating habits. For them it is important to get to a better place mentally and physically to do this, however I do not feel that it is necessary for me. I've tried counting calories and writing down every single little thing I ate and it was just too much for me and I quit. I've also tried losing a specific amount of weight, but I just became more obsessed with the number on the scale.

So I have decided that I need to focus on healthy habits and moderation. I know how to make healthier choices when it comes to what I eat so I try to be conscience what foods I choose and how much I am eating. There was a time when it became way to easy for me to sit down with a bag of potato chips and eat way more than I should. I always felt guilty afterwards, but lacked the discipline to either only eat a small portion or better yet not even get the bag out (or buy it) in the first place. I have been doing much better in this area, though it is still something that I need to keep in check.

What I really want to work on for this challenge though is to get moving. Exercise has been something that I have had a hard time making a habit of. So I am challenging myself to exercise for at least 15-20 minutes a day 5 times a week and make sure that I am also moving more. This means that I won't spend the majority of my day just siting. If I am sitting for an extended period of time I can find time to stretch or move in some way. I can also move more when I am doing my chores. I love to play upbeat and uplifting Christian music while I work out or do things around the house. This is a great motivator to move, even if it's just dancing in the kitchen while making dinner or putting away dishes. 

I have found that goals are much easier to accomplish when I have a plan and a way to stay track my progress. So I created a document to record my exercise and activity. I printed this and keep it in my home organization binder in the section with other goals and to-dos.I made it in Microsoft Publisher but saved it as a .jpg file so if you would like a copy to print out let me know! I also have one that is pink and orange instead of blue and purple.

 Here's some more good resources to check out:
Peak 313 - Clare is a wonderful Christian woman and fitness guru. She has some great workouts!

Be Fit - The Be Fit YouTube channel has a lot of workout videos that you can do, and it's free! Be forewarned that some of the videos may not be considered modest, as far as how some of the people dress, so you will need to discern whether some of the videos are worth watching or not.

Christian Workout Tunes - This is a good resource if you need help finding some good music to workout with. Uplifting music is one of my greatest motivators to get and keep moving! 
  Have you decided to get on board with the challenge?! If you have go on over to Women Living Well and see what other people are up to as well!

Don't forget that you are beautiful!


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  1. Hi Ashley,

    It's awesome that you're getting into this challenge, too! Mine is to cut down on eating sweet stuff - it's the bane of my life!!!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    1. Hi Sarah!
      How are you doing with cutting back on sweets? I've been doing alright with the body challenge but the time management one is going to be the hardest for me. Have a blessed day!
      -Ashley :-)

  2. Words of life here that we all must dwell upon each day or fall for a lie. Inward beauty is luminous! Thank you so much for your well-written post. I hope you share much more :)

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comment! I appreciate it very much!
      Be blessed,
      Ashley :-)