This is a powder keg.
“Exercise is a must.”
Thin Within doesn’t teach this. I believe it is out of respect for those of us who have come out of a background of diet and exercise obsession. I know that I needed the freedom *not* to exercise in order to experience freedom in Christ.
The Lord’s Table teaches that…well, “exercise is a must.”
To lose weight via the principles of hunger and satisfaction, I don’t believe it is generally. Here is what I found. This is important!!! I hope it encourages you.
If we hearken to our God-given signals of hunger and satisfaction, then on the days when our bodies need more fuel, they will be hungry more frequently. I have found in the past when I was more active, that I often was hungry more frequently during that day. When I was sick or less active, I was not nearly so hungry through the day. It does require honesty.
I live a pretty active life with the horses and all that caring for them and the place here entails. I want to go on record as saying vehemently that for those who have physical difficulties of some kind or a current aversion to exercise, to think that they will never be God’s ideal weight without exercise is to burden them with a yoke of slavery.
On the other hand, I do believe that exercise is very good for us and this temple that God has entrusted to us. I know that the author of The Lord’s Table is concerned that we not feed laziness. Many of us (including me) can make excuses til the cows come home for why we can or should be exempt from routine exercise. It is possible that someone who isn’t open to exercise may need to evaluate this prayerfully. Maybe God would have you begin to consider doing a little something. There is *spiritual* value in this IF GOD IS LEADING YOU TO DO IT.
Each person must take this to the Lord prayerfully.
So here are my personal responses to this assertion about “Exercise is a Must.” I *am* concerned that if I add an exercise routine to my daily life some things will happen:
1.) I will begin to obsess again.
2.) I will like the physical changes so much that I will freak if I can’t exercise each day (I guess this is related to #1 above)
3.) Get overly busy
4.) It will be one more thing that my family has to adjust their lives around for me.
Ok, in the spirit of “truth journaling,” let me pick this apart a bit.
1.) I will begin to obsess again. I may begin to obsess, true. However, maybe it is time to leave the “freedom phase” as we say in Thin Within and move on to the “discernment phase.” It works with food, so maybe with exercise, too. I am pretty active, true, but could walking 20-30 minutes a day really be so bad? I think if I keep my focus and ambitions pretty moderate (no more marathons!), I don’t need to be so concerned about obsession. Maybe God has grown me up in this as he has with the dieting stuff of my past. Maybe it is time. Maybe God has done a work in me in this.
2.) I will like the physical changes so much that I will freak if I can’t exercise each day This, too, might be true. But if I do only a moderate exercise program, perhaps the changes externally won’t be that big of a deal. I would get the benefits to my cardiovascular system but not end up looking “ripped.” No…no strength training this time. LOL! So, again, maybe it is time to *grow up*.
3.) Get overly busy. Right now, my life seems to be in a manageable place. Now is, perhaps, an acceptable time to add something modest into my schedule. I like to make up excuses about why I can’t add this or that. Truth is, I have time. I think I *am* lazy, though. I must really make this more a matter of prayer (but not to avoid acting!). There are a lot of things I avoid and I avoid them by trying to appear (or be) busy about *something*. It is time to “come clean” and to bring integrity into this aspect of my life.
4.) It will be one more thing that my family has to adjust their lives around for me. This is definitely a lie. My kids and I all need to do something to get in shape. They may mutiny if I have them walk with me when it is raining…but maybe we can just get some nice big umbrellas and make it workable. My kids need the little bit of activity, too.
So, this all said, I will bring this honestly to God and see what he says about this for me now.
However, I feel it is important for people just beginning Thin Within, certainly, to know that I do NOT agree that “exercise is a must.”
Additionally, I know some people are worried when they work out rigorously that they need to have a big meal an hour before hand, hunger or not. I do not agree. I have trained for marathons and been very involved in body building (yes, you read right! LOL!). I learned even then that this wasn’t the case.
In recent years when I have exercised (I have done a lot with Dance Praise or a pretty rigorous step workout), I typically am just fine through my workout. I try to plan it so that it comes soon after my breakfast. Then, if I DO get hungry during my workout, I can take a quick break and have some almonds and water. It does the trick.
What I eat for breakfast is also important. I make sure that it is a whole-body pleaser (according to the suggestions taught in Thin Within). This sustains me well.
Anyhow, I will be committing this entire issue to God in prayer again.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
– 1 Timothy 4:8
I am so happy to have found all your posts on exercise. I was doing really well eating only when I was hungry and then I started a workout program at the gym. The first day I got really sick to my stomach and could not finish the whole workout and the trainer told me it was because I had not eaten. I told him I was not hungry and he told me that didn’t matter, that I had to put fuel in my body just like we do our car. He said if I only eat when I’m hungry, I’m letting my body go into survival mode and I will never lose weight. He said three meals and three snacks no matter what. Well, guess what? That lead me to overeating again! I was just eating to eat, which I knew deep down was wrong, but I somehow convinced myself that it was okay because I was exercising. I think I discovered that maybe right now at this point in my life I cannot do this type of workout. For people in my family who are in great shape and do not have an ounce of fat on their body, this may seem like an excuse and that I am just lazy. But for me, I know my struggle and I know what I have to do. I am not going to stop exercise altogether, but I will do something a little less intense.
Thanks for all your posts, Heidi!!
Hi, Julie. One of the ways I handle this is to have a stash of nuts handy for when I exercise. The other way is to plan to be hungry for a meal about an hour before I know I plan to exercise. Eating 0 to 5, we could technically exercise right afterwards, but I find it most comfortable to eat about an hour afterwards.
In any event, Julie, YOU KNOW YOURSELF. Seems that this is the most important thing. One-size-fits-all fitness/dieting doesn’t take into account the many differences in body types, demands on our lives, and other factors. I am so grateful for a God that sees me as an individual!