In January 2018, Nancy made a decision that she was going to take control of her health through an intentional weight loss regimen. When she began, we hoped for great success and we knew success was possible, yet because of past frustrations, unreached goals, and plateaus, we were guarded in our expectations. She saw immediate success and I am proud to share that she has lost over 80 pounds in eight months. She has used a system of accountability, journaling, and self-discipline to encourage her success.
About six weeks ago, Nancy made the decision to begin a running regimen. Now, before I go further let me share that when Nancy and I were first married she said to me, “You are not going to see me running for fitness. I will walk with you, but I am not going to be a runner.” With the success she had seen on the scale, she wanted to begin to add a more intentional fitness program to her weight loss. She started getting up at 5am three mornings per week to go for a run using the “5K Pro” app. She set her clothes out the night before the run and she did not allow excuses to guide her decisions. After she would go out to run, I would get up to do my Quiet Time with the Lord. She most often returned with a smile on her face and even commented one morning, “I really did not want to go out this morning, but once I got started, I was glad I did.”
About two weeks ago, I decided to go for a run after she returned. I was hesitant to start because maintaining a running regimen while I am in India will be difficult, but I decided I should go ahead and get started. Now, when she returns from her run, I wrap up my Quiet Time and then I go out running using the “5K Pro” app. I have noticed a difference in the way I feel and I am encouraged.
Why do I tell you all this? First, I want to brag on my wife and her success. Second, to extrapolate out a few things I have learned over the past few weeks.
- Nancy and I are now part of a sub-group of people called “Runners and Walkers.” Each morning that I run, I notice other people who are out running and walking. As we see one another, though we may not actually know each other, we wave. There is an encouragement in that wave. Though some are moving faster than others, and some have been at this fitness lifestyle for a longer time, we are all engaged in the same lifestyle and action. Isn’t this the way it should be in our walk with Christ? There are some who are further in their adventure with Jesus Christ: they have more experience and more knowledge, but they are no greater than the person who is new to the adventure. We need to encourage one another.
- Encouragement through action. Nancy never told me, “You should go running when I get back home.” Nor, did she make her run conditional on my willingness to run. She had a conviction and made a decision to follow that conviction. Her conviction, decision, and success encouraged me to jump on board with her to take care of my fitness life through running and walking. Seeing her smile when she got back home and the way her energy level increased was a witness to me. I saw the difference and I wanted to be different as well. Our actions speak loudly and can serve as encouragement or discouragement to others. Are our actions encouraging or discouraging?
- My wife’s decision to be a runner has not only encouraged my physical life, but has set me up for a greater experience in my Quiet Time. In my previous goal setting, I had never considered getting up earlier to fit my Quiet Time and fitness into my life. I would use 6am as my earliest time to consider getting out of bed. Now, I am out of bed by 5:30am to study, pray, and journal. Where are you carving out time in your life for a Quiet Time with God? In order to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and physically fit, we have to be intentional in the time we set aside for activities that encourage this growth and fitness.
I pray you will experience growth and success as you become more intentional in your life to focus on activities and habits that make you healthier in your whole life.