Week 6: Faithful Finish Lines Focus on the Reward.
Week 6: Prayer and Eating for Energy Goal
Click here for printable download of prayer: FFL Prayer Week 6
Click here for printable Eating for Energy Week 6
Eating for Energy Goal:
This week’s Eating for Energy goal is a building goal from last week’s lessons learned with your focus on eating foods with as little added sugar as possible.
The focus of the program this week is to explore eating using the 90/10 principle (ultimately – that can be the long-term goal), with 90% of what we eat being whole, unprocessed, clean foods and 10% allowed to be treat foods. When I saw a sports dietitian, she encouraged using this method.
You will explore what might be right for you within this goal. Start with where you are now and build from there. If your diet is currently 50% processed food and 50% whole foods, perhaps a good goal for this week is 60% whole foods and 40% processed foods. Progress, not perfection is the aim!
The focus on 90% (or whatever your %) of what you eat being food that is as close to how God made it as possible includes fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, grains. I eat meat on a regular basis and am fine with including it as a whole food and use dairy products as well, although some people choose to eliminate these foods. It is absolutely possible to be healthy with a vegan diet although it requires a more vigilant effort to get a few nutrients.
Probably, your struggle is with the packaged, processed foods you know are not good for you but taste delicious! These are my weakness. I grew up eating these foods and they taste great to me. Some people call it disgusting, but there’s nothing quite like the taste of a hot fresh McDonald’s French fry with just the right amount of salt, dipped in ketchup!
Once in awhile I do eat McDonald’s French fries, but not very often anymore – meaning maybe once every few months, whereas in the past I used to eat them twice a week, or more. My goal is for the majority of my diet to consist of whole, unprocessed food and for me to develop a taste for it. I’m not all the way there, but I’m working on it day by day.
Day 1: Focus on the Finish Line (Sunday)
It’s race week! (Or your race week is coming soon.)
Have you ever taught a teenager how to drive a car, or a child how to ride a bicycle? He heads into the direction where he is looking. This can be dangerous if his attentions wanders away from the road in front of him. (This is why my husband graciously does most of the teen-driver coaching at our house. Too much anxiety for this mom.)
A couple years ago I went to a triathlon workshop where I received coaching from a top-notch run coach.
Right away she noticed I spent the majority of my time looking at the ground directly in front of my feet. She told me this about the way I ran, “You are running yourself right into the ground!” Obviously, that was getting me nowhere fast.
Instead she encouraged me to keep my gaze out ahead of me, in the direction I wanted to go, trusting that my feet will carry me along the path.
I once had the opportunity at the Denver Nature and Science Museum to try a biofeedback experiment. The goal was to sit with an opponent in at game-like table with a ball in the center. Electrodes were strapped to our heads, and a ball was in the center of the table. Using only our thoughts, the goal was to think the ball into the opposing net (like soccer). It seemed impossible that the ball would move, but God has designed our bodies in amazing ways. When the game first started, by concentrating on trying to move the ball I couldn’t get it to go. But when I took my focus off where the ball was, and instead visualized the ball already in the net, it slide easily into the pocket within a matter of seconds.
Focus on the Finish Line is a key concept for your process, both for your fitness journey and your spiritual journey.
Many FFL members will complete a race goal this week, which marks a huge accomplishment. Amazing!
This is the end and the beginning. I love how God uses the Faithful Finish Lines process because each success builds your confidence, teaches you something new, and equips you for the next endeavor He will set before you.
How to Focus on the Finish Line
- Focus on your desired fitness result. Each time you find your thoughts moving to where you are in your fitness journey, turn your thoughts to where you hope to be. Picture a successful, fit, happy, Finish Line You. Not a perfect you, because this isn’t about perfection, but a balanced, fit you who is serving God and living life in a healthy way.
- Focus on where you are going. The theme verse for this program is Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Life is not easy. You face hardship and many difficulties, yet you know that ultimately you are waiting for a time that will be so much greater – eternal life with God. This is your focus and what gives your life meaning.
Day 2: Week 6 Memory Verse (Monday)
Click on image to download a printable PDF version:
Day 3: How to Overcome Obstacles (Wednesday)
When you are on a journey toward wellness of any type, you will come to obstacles in your path. Injury. Illness. Boredom. Work deadlines. Family crisis. Somewhere along your process, internal or external factors – often a combination of both, will block your way to your goals.
Expect obstacles to happen, so that when it does you are not blindsided. Instead, meet these situations with the knowledge that troubles are part of the process.
Then follow these steps:
- Stay in your body and in the moment. During my first open water race swimming experience, I panicked. Despite the fact that I had practiced swimming in open water, I freaked and had to be pulled out of the water in a boat. I swam off course, and when I realized what had happened, this is where my mind started going: “Oh crap! I’m so far behind everyone else! I’m going to be last out of the water. Everyone is waiting for me. I’ll be swimming all by myself. I look like a total idiot out here.” My breathing increased, my heart rate sky rocketed, and suddenly I was in a full-blown panic attack. Look at where my thoughts were. My thoughts had flown out of my body and way out into the future. I was thinking about the swim finish line. I was thinking about the speed of the other swimmers. I was thinking about the thoughts of the lifeguards and coaches in the boats. None of my thoughts were about my body or my swim. I was totally outside of my own body. The way to stay calm is to stay with your own body and in the moment. (For more on help with panic attacks, and how I overcame them, click here.)
- Remind yourself, I am not my goals. You are a unique person with much to offer the world because you are alive. You are a friend, a daughter, perhaps a mom, a worker, and more. None of that changes if you meet this goal or not. The people in your life who love you, will still love you. Those who respect and admire you will not lose respect for you if this goal is not accomplished. They will admire your determination for trying.
- These goal will change you for the better, whether you accomplish them or not. A couple years ago I was finishing the training season for the longest triathlon I had attempted, a Half Ironman, and race day loomed. I had spent the good part of a year training for this one day. I felt as if so much rode on my performance at this race. I asked my very wise coach, “What if I don’t finish this race?” She told me, “If you finish, you set a great example for your kids of determination and spirit. If you don’t finish, you will set a great example for them of handling disappointment with grace.” You allow these moment to shape you into a better person, no matter the results.
The medal I received for the first triathlon I completed has this saying etched around the edge, “The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes it.”
It is not accomplishing your goals that changes you. It is the reaching toward it that molds you. The times I’ve crossed the finish line have felt freakin’ fantastic! The times I haven’t felt horrible, yes – yet they were necessary for shaping me into who I am now.
Either way, you win.
Day 4: Race Day Tips & Tricks (Friday)
Whether you are doing an official race or an event of your own creation, here are some helpful guidelines for making the day as successful as possible:
- Nothing new on race day. Wear the same shoes, same socks, same workout clothes you’ve worn before. Eat foods you are familiar with and follow a similar routine. (Including the day before.) This isn’t the day to try out brand new running shoes – no matter how fast they look!
- Don’t worry if you can’t sleep the night before. I’ve done a lot of tossing and turning the night before a big race. You’ll be fine the next morning even if you didn’t get much sleep the night before. Naps are great the day after a big race.
- Lay out all your gear the night before. (Some people call this their “Flat Sara” or their “Flat Corinne.” :)) Walk through your race day and think of what you will need. Put out your clothes, your race number, hat, shoes, socks, clothes, and get your breakfast ready. Have your coffee pot ready to go. Do you need a map to get to the location? Money for parking? Little details matter.
- Get to the race plenty early.
- Bathroom issues – you might have ‘em. Don’t be surprised if you spend extra time in the port-a-potty line. Race day nerves do that to the best of us.
- When the gun goes off, don’t start too fast. Run your own race. Stick with your program as you have trained for it. Race day adrenaline is probably making you go faster than you realize. It’s okay to go a little faster but don’t burn out in the first mile.
- Prepare in advance some mantras for the hard moments: “This is fun.” “You’ve got this.” “Shut up, legs!” “Just keep moving.” “When I’m done I can have a beer.” “I am strong.”
- There is a moment ¾ of the way through any event when you hit a low. A wise coach told me this and I’ve never forgotten it. This is true of races and most challenges in life. When these thoughts of “I don’t want to be here. This isn’t fun anymore,” hit hard, recognize it for what it is. It’s just the 3/4th of the way through thoughts. Slow down a little if necessary, but keep moving. Eventually those thoughts will pass and you will feel better.
- When you cross the finish line, smile, throw your arms over your head, and be proud of what you have accomplished! This is your moment!
Copyright © 2016 Sara Borgstede, Motivational Speaker and Author, All rights reserved.
Content as part of your exclusive Faithful Finish Lines membership.