Faith and Fitness with Marsha Apsley

Helping Women Live Fit and Free

Motivation Can Be Found In Your Why

Motivation.  Where do you find it?  How can I get some?  You’re so motivated!  I’m just not.

 

how to find your motivation

Let’s face it….it’s hard to do the right thing.  It’s hard to eat right.  Exercise 6 days a week.  That’s hard.  It’s hard to refrain from gossip.   You want me to smile and wave at the driver who cut me off?  I’m not sure about that.  It’s hard to save money.  Life can just be hard sometimes.  Even a lot of the time it can be hard.  We all have our areas of struggle and weakness.  Given that this is primarily a health and fitness blog, I’m going to focus on that part in the “life is hard” scenario.  

Motivation.  It’s the top thing I get asked about.

Why should I get up 15-30 minutes early so I can workout?  Do I really need to pass on a second helping?  Why should I strength train?  Is my sugar intake really that big of a deal?  I should drink how much water everyday???

Well, I can’t answer all these questions for you, but in your questions lie the answer.  The answer is “Why”.  It’s YOUR “Why”.  And only you can figure that one out.  

Your motivation is found when you answer the question Why? Click To Tweet

You see, all these things that are hard, well they aren’t necessarily things we have to do.  I mean, you don’t have to exercise.  Go ahead and eat that dessert if you want it.   I know people who barely drink one glass of water a day.  

But we want to do those things.  If you’re reading this, I know you desire to honor the body God has given you.  I know you want to be fit and healthy.  We don’t want to end up with health problems.  I’m sure you want to play with your kids and grandkids without feeling exhausted and  out of breath.  We want to feel good attending that wedding or class reunion.       

The key to doing these things and sticking to them is finding your WHY.  

Motivation

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?

I need to exercise.  Why?

I’m going to limit my sugar intake.  Why?

It may be that you have a history of illness in your family.  You may have small children you want to be able to play with.  You may currently have a health issue that needs to get in check.  Are you going to be walking down the aisle in a few months?  

I don’t know what it is for you, but until you figure out your WHY, you won’t stick to the plan long term.  You won’t develop a healthy sustainable lifestyle.  You may be able to do something for 3 days, 21 days or even 30 days.  But here we want to find a way of living that you can sustain for the long term that becomes a lifestyle not just a diet plan.  

Looking for motivation? Let's start by asking why. #focus #motivation #tips Click To Tweet

To be sure, you can’t underestimate discipline.  It is going to be necessary to put in the work and make the commitment, but you have to identify why you’re going to get started.

Can I share something with you?  I can’t even remember why I started running years ago.  But I know I had a why.  Otherwise I would’ve never gone out the door. I know something made me head out the door that first morning.  But you know, after doing it one day and then the next and then the next, I fell in love with it.  I loved how I felt while I was doing it.  I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I finished a workout.  And I just kept doing it.  And it became part of who I am.  I can’t imagine running not being part of my life.  I can’t imagine not moving in some sort of way everyday.  And that’s my why now.

It doesn’t have to be running for you.  In fact, you may not know exactly what it’s going to be.  But you’re going to know why you want to find it.   That’s the first step.  We can work with that.

Take some time today and consider why you want this.  Consider why you even clicked on this link to read this blog.  What brought you here?  It’ll be a start to tapping into your motivation.

Tell me….

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?  

WHY do you want to be free from outside noises and distractions in this area of your life?  

Have you found your motivation?

 

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Why I Had to Get Over Myself and Take a Selfie: Now It’s Your Turn

I got a selfie stick for Christmas last year.  I can’t believe that’s something I would have ever wanted?!?  I’m still figuring it out!  Do you have one?

Just take a selfie

About two years ago I felt called to begin sharing my story in this online space and the journey of faith and fitness that I had been on most of my life. The most difficult and vulnerable part? Posting a selfie! Technically I’m not a pro at it (I took 15 this morning to get a decent one! lol!), but it was the struggles within that I had to fight (and still do!).

I’ve never been a fan of looking in a mirror. Full length mirror? Not in my bathroom!  

When I was a school-age girl, I went to Disney World with a friend.  I remember getting in line for a ride and all along the entrance were mirrored walls.  Oh how I hated it!  Just don’t look!  I always thought my friend was prettier than me.  Here she was checking her hair and primping (like girls are supposed to do!), and I just kept my head down.  Get me out of here!

 That was years ago, but the struggle remained.  And the memory is still there.  I avoided mirrors at all costs.  And pictures.  Just put me in the background.  Or better yet, let me take the picture while you beautiful people smile for the camera!

So, if I struggle to look in the mirror, why would I want to post a picture of myself so that I (and the rest of the world) could look at it???  A selfie?  Of me?  Really??

But here’s the deal…..

When we, when I, don’t appreciate the reflection looking back at me, I’m saying to God that He didn’t do a very good job. I’m not appreciating the miracle of life that He’s given me and the way He has uniquely crafted me. The sin of pride doesn’t come with looking in the mirror or posting the picture. It comes when we think He should’ve made me better.  Pride shows itself when we think He didn’t get it right.  It happens when we need others to validate us. Pride is present when we compare ourselves to others.

Why I had to get over myself and take a selfie. #runmyrace Click To Tweet

And think of the memories you’re missing out on.  What happens when your children and grandchildren look at pictures and wonder where you are?  Why aren’t you in the pictures, Mom?  Where’s Grandma in all the pictures?  How do you answer that?

So today I’m challenging you to spend some extra time in front of the mirror.  Take a selfie.  You don’t even have to post it.  This isn’t about getting people to look at ME, but directing their (and my) attention to the One who created me. To the One who doesn’t make mistakes. To the One who has a plan for each and every one of us. We can’t follow that plan if we’re caught up in feeling like He didn’t make us right.

Embrace and celebrate the wonderful YOU He created! Give Him praise!

If you choose to take that selfie and post it on social media, be sure to tag me! I’d love to give you a virtual hug and praise Him, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Tell me…

Do you have a full length mirror?

Have you discovered the art of taking a good selfie?  Please give me your tips!

What’s the Condition of Your Heart?

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Proverbs 23:7

heart condition

There are so many concepts before and after this verse in chapter 23, and it all seems to sum up my life’s story.  

Examining our heart condition with Proverbs 23:7 #faith Click To Tweet

There is caution against gluttony and this concept of an unhealthy focus on food.  And then there is a call out to parents to instruct and to children to listen to their parents.  My testimony starts as a Jesus-loving young girl consumed with how she looked.  I watched my mom struggle with her weight, and she desperately did not want me to deal with the same issues.  Unfortunately that made me (and her) hyper-focused on it, and I began to believe I was fat, ugly, not good enough, and would never find anyone to love me.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

I struggled with what the doctors would call a “nervous stomach”.  I was just painfully shy and introverted and worried about everything. I worried about what people thought of me, of how I looked to others, if anyone would ever love me enough to marry me.  

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

By the time I was in 6th grade, I was following Weight Watchers and eating pretzels and drinking milk for my lunch.  All because I thought I was fat and would never catch the eye of someone who would want to love me.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Fast-forward to college, more feelings of not good enough, not thin enough, not fit enough.  (Yes, the focus was solely on my looks!)  I dabbled with forms of purging (laxatives and over-exercising) to try to lose weight.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Finally found a man to show some interest, and I married him.  For nearly 5 years we struggled to make it work, but I still had all the baggage of my worth and my own identity.  We weren’t able to make the marriage last.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

As stated in the beginning, I’ve followed Jesus from my early years.  I cried and struggled through all of this.  I laid it at His feet and picked it back up more times than I can count. I prayed and prayed that He’d make me beautiful and that I’d see that reflection in the mirror, but I just would never let His message of true love penetrate my heart.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

As my adult life went on, I managed the insecurities, sure I’d cry over numbers on the scales and the reflection in the mirror, but I got better at living with it.  I sorta resigned myself to the fact that this would be my life….unrest, unsettled, dissatisfied with my physical body.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

But then I hit a fork in the road just as I was about to turn 40.  I read the book “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  In one section she quoted a verse when God told Moses “You have circled this mountain long enough”.  Hmmm…..40 years in the desert.  I was about to turn 40.   God was telling me it was TIME.  Let’s turn north.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

Oh, it wasn’t like flipping a switch and now I knew and believed everything written in His word about how I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made” and “loved with an everlasting love”.  But it was the catalyst.  Slowly, I began to let go of my insecurities.  Slowly I began to take the chance at believing that maybe I was okay.  Slowly the thoughts in my heart began to change.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

What’s in your heart?  Are you believing God?  Are you taking Him at His word?

From a young age, I knew I was a child of God.  I knew it in my head, but it took me many years to get it in my heart and to know that I was perfect just the way I was.

Let His word penetrate your heart today.  Take Him at His word.

For as (s)he thinks in his(her) heart, so is (s)he.

I am a fearfully and wonderfully created daughter of the King……and so are you!

What is the condition of your heart? #faith Click To Tweet

Would you like more devotions like this?  Wednesday my 40 Days of Faith and Fitness Devotions will go on sale.  Get a free devotion today by signing up for my exclusive offer.  The devotions will be delivered via email daily during Lent.  I will also be hosting a free Facebook group so we can support each other on our faith and fitness journey.  Have questions?  Email me today at marsha@marshaapsley.com

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