Heart Choices: A Transparent Role Model -->

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A Transparent Role Model

It's Fitness Friday and I think it's time for me to get back in the saddle again. I've heard it said that it's hard to understand another unless you've walked a mile in their shoes.

I have a confession to make. I've been a consistent exerciser for the past 30 years. I began understanding the importance of exercise in overall health after I attended a certification program at LaCrosse University in Wisconsin so I could manage a Cardiac Rehab program as a nurse.

My mom was a very disciplined person and I'm glad I inherited that gene from her. So, I doubt I've missed more than a day or two of exercise since that time (except after major surgery).

When my friends say they just can't get into the habit of exercising, I have to admit that inside I'm thinking ..."just do it please"!

Well, I haven't exercised for the past month! I know, I know ...what kind of an example am I?

After all, I write about health and fitness. I know how important eating healthy and exercising is. So, what's going on?

For the first time, I've allowed life to get in my way. I've been dealing with some major life challenges and have been struggling with depression. I'm amazed at how draining this can actually be!

Greg snapped this photo of me one morning as I was sitting on our upstairs front porch. I should have been exercising on my treadmill or hiking those mountains but instead ...here I sat!

This time has allowed me to walk a mile in another's shoes. I understand what it feels like to feel drained and have no energy.

My friend Anna May called me the other week. She reads Heart Choices even though she doesn't comment. As she was encouraging me with her words, she told me that she can picture me bounding up that mountain or walking on my treadmill the way I used to do. And do you know what? I started remembering how good that felt. So, thanks Anna May.

Since then, I've started walking to the mailbox which is not located in front of my house. And after I get the mail, I walk around the block the long way which is uphill. I began getting on the treadmill again for a shorter time than my usual 45 minutes. And since the weather is beginning to cool down a bit in Phoenix, I'm going to start climbing my mountain again.

Now, since I've walked a mile in your shoes I have some advice for you ...just do it!Just start walking. Put one foot in front of the other. You don't have to jog! Over time, it may surprise you when you realize you're not so tired and you have ...more energy.

I've said it before. Exercise gives you energy. It sounds contrary to common sense but believe me, it really works. I can go into an exercise physiology reason but I won't bore you with that now.

Are you going to just do it? I really want to know.

And don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today. She's back writing her Fitness Friday posts too.

(Photo Credit of walking girl: Martha Stewart)

Debbie Petras
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  1. You go girl, I know you can do it. I love you.

  2. Yes! I know how good exercise is in every way. I have not always been disciplined about *getting* that exercise. :-) My dance class helps, because I enjoy it so much, and it's a weekly reminder of how great it feels to move around.

  3. I love how you remind me about getting fit - especially on Fridays - as its close to Monday where it seems easier to start exercising and not too far away that your 'Monday exercise' plans will be forgotten. ;)

    Actually, I was so keen on getting back in shape again after pregnancy (because I was so sick of laying down on the couch from being too big) that I made it hard for my body to recover. The first couple of weeks I was going out all the time - I even started dancing! My body couldn't think about healing as it was too busy keeping up with my activities. I've paid for it in the end, of course. So I've had to slow down but it sure does drive me crazy watching everyone else being able to walk around and exercise.

  4. Oh dear ... from the land of apple streudel, croissants and cheese I dare say I've been horrible about exercise - other than I've been walking everywhere.

    I applaud your initiative. The hardest part of a healthy regiman is the taking of that first step.


  5. Praising God that you are back doing what you love and makes you feel good!

    Hugs and prayers over you!

    God will see you completely through this time!

    PS I love the photo of you looking out. Really neat!

  6. Hi

    Oh boy would you have a field day with me. I wiah you were near so that you might. I believe the Lord led me to your post this morning. I imagine I am your opposite, haha...I have struggled with exercise and weight my whole life. (not really, but it does seem so sometimes) There has been many times I have had both under control, but not in the last few years. I lost 75 pounds (which did not put me at goal by the way) for my daughter's wedding using Weight Watchers and my treadmill which I was on daily. After she married she moved 1000 miles away and I struggled trying to find a way to handle it all and ate 50 of those hard losed pounds back on. Now, I have joined Jenny Craig and have lost 33 of them again and I am determined to lose EVERY last pound this time. EVERY LAST POUND...hOWEVER, meanwhile I have discovered (through tremendous amounts of pain) that I have advanced arthritus in both of my knees. Walking around doing what I have to do is somewhat of a problem (though I do it of course) but now walking on my treadmill seems like torture. I have done it a couple of times (only for 10 minutes) and have felt the Lord urging me to "just do it"...I am not quite sure why I have told you all this (sorry) but you have inspired me to get on (treadmill) this morning and just do it. I am going to watch your blog closely and look for further inspiration as well, haha so thanks for sharing this. Have a wonderful day. Blessings to you, Debbie

  7. That is a great photo of you. I love it.

    And yes, depression is debilitating. And meds can make you even more tired. I remember when I started on Lexapro, I was happy, but tired. Which I thought was better than depressed and tired.

    I should be working out right now too. During my 40 day fast, my workouts were hard because I was eating very little carbs. Because of that, I lost muscle. And now I'm just doing the bare minimum. I really need to get motivated too.

    So thanks for the reminder.

    Love you!

  8. Sis, I came by earlier before I left and read this but had to run out. I returned to say I appreciate you and your honesty and I love you and I'm praying for you.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement. I thought I'd be in a routine of exercising when Caleb was starting school but that hasn't happened. I just don't have a consistent routine for my days b/c I have a different schedule every day.

    I'm glad you and your husband liked the recipe! I want to make it again too. I really liked the flavor of it. I have another one to post sometime I found in a magazine.

  10. Sweet Debbie,
    I don't write to defend myself, I just have to say that not everybody is that privileged that they can do it; even though it may seem so.
    Having fought and by and by slowly learned to live with my chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), I must admit; the worst thing has been lack of understanding from people standing near to me.
    "Oh, you are really becoming better , my hiker friends say, when we have been outdoors for 6 hours."
    I have to tell that they only see me when I am well enough to take a slow hike with them.
    Thee are moments I cherish dearly, The always different trails, the shared tears and laughter, planning the next tour and so on.
    No one but my beloved Gunnar sees me when I'm staying in bed for days after such a major hike.
    I find it worth the while, but I also know I have to pay my prize alone. (Or one might say, my family has also shared that cost).
    I have two ladies coming every third week to clean our home, not because I'm rich, but because that allows me to use my limited resources on f.i. gardening.
    My doctor helped me getting the "home helpers" through social service.
    I know I should work out more. My muscles needs exercise, my fragile skeleton as well.
    So now I also, thanks to a dear hiker friend go swimming Fridays, when I'm not too exhausted. That means Saturday is "a flat out day."
    I also have Feldenkrais physiotherapy every Thursday,
    and that is perhaps the best exercise. Unwinding to tense outer muscles to let the inner muscles take up their primarily function.
    This is lots and lots of ME me.
    I know that you understand, but you might have readers who don't and feel like judging their fellow wanderers.
    I for certain had not been alive after 20 years of ME, were it not for my faithful friends, my husband and my daughter.
    My mother for a long time did not understand all my sleeping in the middle of the day.
    I guess, she who has never spared herself found it hard to see me like that.
    Later there have been articles in magazines and features on TV, and she now encourages me of a full heart.
    Visiting your blog has done me lots and lots of good too. You are always so honest and eager about both your health commitment and even more on your never ending faithfulness to Christ.
    I rest here and I get inspired here.
    Like simply writing what I'eating.
    Living a snail life I don't need that much calories, but I need comfort. Food may easily become a comfort trap.
    Not anymore, not to me.
    I wish you well in your struggle against your own "trolls". I also can confirm that physical exercise is helping against depression, those wonderful serotonin flowing from the brain. Also the change of environment, sunlight in the eyes, fresh air; all medication on a green prescription.
    Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday, may the Lord let his face shine upon you in a special way today.
    From Felisol

  11. Your post was an encouragement to me. I do love to do my walks with someone...hubby or a friend... and often if there is no one able to go, I tend to not make that time. But I have enjoyed walks alone as special times to reflect and have one on one time with the Lord, so I do need to be more consistent!

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (I do love the photo your husband took of you... everything looks so peaceful.)


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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