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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Let's talk about health, baby

Andrew as Bob, Kim as a contestant, Jessi as Alli and me as Jillian in our office contest The Biggest Lister
I find The Biggest Loser inspires me to not only stay fit but to reach for dreams. Totally love the show! And Bob. And Jillian!

Nineteen months before I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt a tug from midlife God to get in shape and lose the baby-weight once and for all. In high school I was active and taught exercise classes through college until I got pregnant with baby number four.

By the time baby number four was three years old, the need was there to get it off and resume my active lifestyle. Because I'm not really shallow or anything, I wanted to get in shape and look good when I turned 40. I started running. God talked to me while I ran so I kept at it. I began to eat better less; however, I totally eliminated caffeine, chocolate and subsequently most sugar. My theory was if it’s not chocolate, why bother?

I lost the baby weight, started training for a marathon, felt great and got cancer. One year ago when I met my top-notch world-class oncologist for the first time, he marveled, “You’re the healthiest cancer patient I’ve ever seen.”

That was the day I bought the lie.

When I went back to see my oncologist in July and October, same thing—I was the healthiest cancer patient he’s ever seen.

Then January. I went with confidence. I was healthy, right?

My doctor told me, very gently, he could tell I wasn’t exercising as much. (The scale doesn’t lie.) Then he reminded me that chemo was still on the table, I only knew I wouldn’t be starting for at least three months. His parting words to me were, “Exercise. Get healthy.”

If I ever need chemo, the best gift I can give myself is the ability to fight its side effects well. To do that I need my health and my doctor reminds me the health I need is the work-up-a-sweat-push-myself-hard-for-at-least-30-minutes-5-times-per-week health.

I ran a half marathon at the beginning of December. It was hard. I’ll tell the whole story real soon. It burned me out on exercise—so I didn’t. Exercise. For about eight weeks I barely got out of bed and survived a hectic schedule. I didn’t make time to sweat. The needle on the scale crept higher.

My doctor reminded me health is a quest. Once we’ve arrived there, we must keep going to stay.

A few days after that doctor’s appointment, my husband laced his running shoes and headed to the door. I encouraged his run by telling him how burned out and tired I was of running. (Nice wife, huh?) He responded, “That’s why we’re not champions. When we don’t feel like running, we don’t. The best push through those days and keep running.” 

I went and strapped on my shoes for a quick three-miler. I want to think and act like a champion. I want excellent results; therefore, I must put forth an excellent effort.

Plus, I want to be ready to kick cancer’s booty should it ever come near me again.

Then my friend, Lysa, reminded me that we’d all like to pretend we’re not in this battle for health but we are.

The truth is every choice I make either takes me further away from being healthy or closer to my goal of being physically fit.

I hate that. I wish I had a free day where I could eat half a box of girl-scout cookies or have a candy bar for lunch. But the truth is there aren’t free passes for making bad choices.

I want to continue to be the healthiest cancer patient my doctor has ever seen. So I hired a personal trainer, committed to running at least 30 minutes five times each week and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner last night.

What have you done to take a step toward healthy lately?

For more of Lysa’s great tips and how to crave God, not food, click here.

Linking to Jen at “Finding Heaven” and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today; I promise I'm getting that button here next time :)


Andrea said...

I needed this today... thank you!

Tiffini said...

girl...I can't tell you how I needed to hear your words today. I mean it!
Thanks so much for sharing. You are a blessing:)

BFM said...

I thought of these two scriptures as I read your post. It's amazing that God gave you so much good health even while you had cancer, and it's amazing how much God loves you!

"For everything God made is good, and we may eat it gladly if we are thankful for it, and if we ask God to bless it, for it is made by the Word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:4

Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too. 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Jen said...

You are so right -- it's easy to fall off the wagon. I've been a runner now for a decade and the routine of running 3 times a week is ingrained. But, recently I got the flu and spent one week sick. Then I spent the next week catching up. So, 2 weeks later I strap on my running shoes and ... ugh. It was hard. But, I'm excited to rebuild and your post just made me hungrier for that! So glad you are here today!

Sonja said...

Boy am I ready for this post Lisa!! I am ON IT, and it began with Melanie and doing her 21 days committment. I faltered the 21 days, but am back on track!! I am DOING it!!

I love what your husband said... speaks loudly to me today!!



Sonja said...

ooops! I intended to say I faltered the 21 days, could NOT mess up when I thought of Melanie and Andrew, but after 21 days... I let up. NOPE! Not any more... this is a day to day desire and choice to do it God's way! I've always battled with this, and it is TIME to do the job right!!!

Sonja said...

okay, I'm a sick person... I faltered TER the 21 days! But got back on track... oh brother!!! :(

Sonja said...

would you like to just blot these 4 comments out??? My keys are sticking and the word I was trying to say is I faltered AFTER the 21 days... i'm slinking away now.....

Pamela said...

Sure puts a whole new idea on getting heatlhy. I just got a letter today from the dietition I'm supposed to see today. Reading this will help me stick to whatever she says.

Jodene Shaw said...

What a great message for me to hear! I am excited to get running again! Thanks for sharing!

Cindy said...

Oh Lisa, I always feel so ashamed when I read these type of posts. I am a healthy 50+ year old woman who does not have any real heal issues. Yet, in my battle with depression and struggling through the illness and loss of my hubby I have gained SO much weight and have become tired, lazy, achy and short of breath. I never exercise and eat Junk food all the time (highlighted by chocolate and Sprite).
How shameful of me. You (and other's like yourself) are so inspiring yet it doesn't get me up off of this chair and out the door!
Lord, Help My Apathy!!!
Blessings to you Lisa,

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Having battled an eating disorder, I am pretty diligent about weight and health. Praise God, I am a very healthy girl. I know that can change at any moment, but I try to do the right things.

Praying that cancer stays far away from you.


Mining for Diamonds said...

Wow...I'm amazed that you (and your doc) consider yourself to not be healthy and yet you can "run a quick 3-miler". WOW! Seriously though, I don't think cancer has a chance on you! If it ever comes near you it will surely run screaming in the other direction!

Sandy Cooper said...

Today I did NOT feel like working out. Today I felt the effects of taking care of sick kids for the last week. Today I felt my body fighting the same sickness. Today I wanted a giant bowl of pasta for lunch and nothing else.

Instead of giving in, I popped in the P90X DVD and began Week 13 of my program.

I lifted weights for a full hour. And it was hard. But I did it. And I resisted the leftover pasta in the fridge and grabbed an apple and some nuts instead.

It was really hard. But I totally did it. And I'm so glad I did.

Go, Lisa GO!!!!

I love you, sis.

DARBY said...

Holy cow...so I have lost 40 pounds in the last year by actually eating better. However, the last month I have just not been as focused. I woke up this morning put on my work clothes looked at my husband and said ''i feel like im losing control again' im thinking about this all day mind you...im eating chocolate which of course doesnt help but sure tastes good. I think about it again tonight and decided I will,push through this and get my mojo back. I read read your post and I swear you must of talked to my husband this morning... I cannot even tell you how much I needed this one tonight! Thank you!!!!

Kelly W said...

Lisa, it's 3AM here and I ca't sleep, despite the fact I get up at 5:30 to get ready for work. I was diagnosed today with Menieres Disease. Not use if you know what that is, but has the symtoms of vertigo, various degrees, depending on how I move my head. I go back to the doctor Monday to discuss life changing habits that will make this more bearable, one I'm sure will be diet and exercise. Pray for me that I will have the God given strength I have seen you have for over a year now. I'm going to need it. Old habits are hard to break!! ~Hugs~

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I was a big exerciser prior to cancer. Since chemo ended, I'm back to walking (albeit very slowly). Now I'm resting from Monday's surgery. Hopefully I'll be back to my walking next week and then moving onto targeted weight loss. I gained a lot during chemo.

Anyway, you inspire me. Thanks for the encouragement.



This is so motivating to me today. My choices matter.