Week 7: Faithful Finish Lines have a Rhythm of Running and Resting.
Week 7: Prayer and Eating for Energy Goal
Click here to download the prayer as a printable: FFL Prayer Week 7
Click here to download printable: Eating for Energy Week 7
Eating For Energy Goal:
Your final Eating for Energy goal is to plan for success with healthy eating. Look back over the last 6 week’s healthy eating goals.
- Which of the 6 was most beneficial for you: keeping a food log, increasing fruits and vegetables, considering protein, eliminating calories from beverages, fasting from sugar, or following a 90/10 eating plan?
- Which is one you could realistically make a life-long habit?
- Which is an area where we want to make continued changes but need more help? Pray about that area.
Plan for success with healthy eating, both for this week and moving forward. What are some steps you will take to bring healthy food into the house? Eat healthier breakfasts and lunches? Making eating healthy more affordable?
A healthy lifestyle is a commitment, but one totally worth making.
Set some specific Eating for Energy goals and share them with the group.
Day 1: Train Hard. Rest Harder. (Sunday)
I absolutely love this concept I learned from one of my triathlon coaches who was a professional triathlete:
Train Hard. Rest Harder.
I’m seriously bad at resting. My nature is to be a driven, Type-A, get-er done person.
While there are many advantages to this type of personality, the more my life goes on I realize just how damaging a life without rest can be not just for myself, but for the people around me. When I am constantly pushing, pushing to make life happen in the ways I want and expect it to happen, I don’t just exhaust myself, but I exhaust those I love, too.
It’s not easy to admit it, but I’ve driven away friends and harmed relationships with my family members with my ever-going, never quit personality.
I’ve done the same thing with my workouts and training. I’ve thought that surely I need to do a little bit more training than what my plan called for. I wasn’t confident I did enough. Other times I thought I needed to burn a few more calories to make up for something I ate that I shouldn’t have eaten, or to try to lose a few more pounds. This exercise was counter-productive to my goals. The workouts didn’t make me stronger and only made me hungrier and drove me to overeat, continuing my unhealthy eating patterns.
Take times of rest very seriously. The temptation may be to push ahead and do more, but don’t allow yourself.
Trust your plan. Give your body and mind the rest each needs.
Day 2: Week 7 Memory Work (Monday)
Click on image to download a printable version.
Day 3: Do You Have Rhythm? (Wednesday)
Any good training plan, whether for running a race, a triathlon, or other type of physical sport, has days of hard training intermixed with days of rest. The plan will also include several weeks of building up, each increasing in intensity followed by a step-back recovery week that is a little easier.
Then, every year has seasons of tough training followed by times of recovery.
Leaving out the rest leads to burn-out, loss of strength, depression, and injury. It’s during the rest that we actually grow stronger. Rest is critical to training. A common rookie mistake is to train too much and rest too little. A more seasoned athlete learns to know her body and the recovery she needs.
Age, illness, and personal variance all factor into the amount of rest needed as well.
I believe God has a rhythm for our lives as well.
Looking back on your life up to this point, do you see seasons of running (training) and seasons of rest? One of the greatest challenges is that you often don’t recognize the season until after you are through it, yet if you attempt to fully embrace the season, I believe you will experience more benefit.
How to Fully Embrace Your Current Season in Life
- God uses times of running (training) to grow and mold you for the next challenge. Each training season builds upon itself. Nothing done for God’s kingdom is ever wasted. God is continually recreating you into the person He wants you to be in Him.
- Running is hard! I do not believe the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” God wants you to come to Him. He desires that you turn to Him in faith when life is beyond your reach. Those tough times are the training ground.
- Times of rest do not mean a total stop. Rest and recovery days in training don’t mean no exercise at all. It might mean a walk with my family, an easy bike ride for fun, or some other slow-paced activity. “Active recovery” it’s often called. In the same way, life still moves forward during your times of rest. The pace is slower. Perhaps you find yourself in a time of more relative calm. Peace reigns.
Be more aware of this rhythm and recognize where you are in life so that you can savor the growth of each season. Ask God to show you what He is trying to teach you.
Day 4: The Final Faithful Finish Line (Friday)
Over the last 7 weeks, you have tried new ideas. Perhaps you dusted off some old healthy ways that had been sitting on a shelf for a while, neglected. Some things you tried worked for you, others needed modification. Finding what works for you is a huge part of the process.
The big question at the end of any book or program is “now what?” How will you keep this going? The more you incorporate this healthy lifestyle into your habits, the less you have to rely on willpower.
Willpower runs out.
Consider ways to make some of these new steps into habits. It doesn’t matter how little it seems. Buy several sets of workout clothes and keep them in the same place in a drawer so they will always be ready. Go to the gym at the same time on the same days. Have shoes ready in the car.
Habit, habit, habit until you don’t have to think and you don’t have to use willpower. Save that willpower for other times when you need it most.
Keep moving forward. When you mess up, come back. It’s so tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Forget it. I’ll just pretend I’m going to ignore this healthy stuff. I deserve this ________ (cookie, piece of cake, bag of chips).”
Instead, tell yourself, “I deserve to be healthy and fit.”
The temptation is to hide your mess. I hid my overeating for so long. I was ashamed and embarrassed about my binging, compulsive eating, and out of control ways with food.
Now, your mess becomes your message. God will use this – yes, even this – to mold and shape you, and to help other people as well. God is able to work all things for good when you give it to Him. Place it as His feet and offer Him what you have.
Each faithful finish line changes you. God uses each process – whether success or failure in the world’s eyes is beside the point – to grow you into becoming more like Him, which makes you more beautiful by the day.
The next time you go through this process, you will be stronger and ready to face the challenge with renewed focus. This creates a rhythm for your life as you grow into a more amazing, delightful person.
This is discipleship. We are walking, and running, in the footsteps of Jesus.
Finally, you have the sure knowledge of the ultimate final Finish that awaits you, which is eternal life with God, where, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4.
Eternal life is nothing you have earned or can earn. It is a totally free gift because of the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross. Nothing compares to what a glorious final victory that will be!
Copyright © 2016 Sara Borgstede, Motivational Speaker and Author, All rights reserved.
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