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365 Days of Fitness: Strong Curves

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Just coming on really fast to update you all on 365 Days of Fitness. Yesterday, I completed Day 216 AND the Strong Curves 12 Week At-Home Bodyweight Program!! The last 4 weeks were KILLER, but sooooo worth it!! I’ve experienced such great progress and strength gains. When I started, I couldn’t do ONE unassisted chin-up. It’s not easy, but now I can do 3 sets of 3!!

And the strength I have gained in my legs, arms, back, and core are paying rewards in yoga!!

Crow to headstand to chatarunga to upward dog to downward dog flow.

Compass pose done the first time EVER. Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Day 217: Compass pose done the first time EVER.
Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Now, to take a break. NOT from exercising silly ;)!! Just from Strong Curves! It’s been an intense 12 weeks of doing Strong Curves 3 days a week and I haven’t been eating the best, because it makes me so hungry! So, my weight has stayed pretty much the same (with some up and down on the scale). In order to get my eating back on track and to give my body a chance to recover, I’m going into an active “rest” week. I originally planned to do 20-30 minutes of Vinyasa Flow yoga a day with a DVD I picked up about a month ago on Amazon, Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow. I really like this DVD because it has seven 20 minute practices that you can do solo or mix and match. You can also follow pre-set programs that do the mixing and matching for you.

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I may still do this only, but I’m also feeling like I may throw some hip thrusts and cardio in there too. We’ll see how I feel and how the week plays out. But, I will definitely do at least 20 minutes of yoga every day. If I can do what I did above with one practice a week, I wonder what I could accomplish practicing every day!!

Okay, before I go, wanted to share two more things. I haven’t taken an after picture for Strong Curves and it may have to wait until next week … because the bloat is on, if you get my drift. But, I figured I’d share some more before and after pics from April and August. You’ve seen the abs in the past, but this is the first time I’ve posted my leg progress on the blog. You see, my lower body takes a lot longer to respond to exercise and diet. But, I’m getting there and I’m hoping that next week’s shots (plan to do a full body comparison to May … after a good week of eating *fingers crossed*) will look even better.

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And last, but definitely not least, two weeks ago, I decided I was going to start a new 10 minutes a day 365 Day Challenge. I have a dear friend with two very small children whose beloved 34 year old husband died this past week after an unexpected 9 month battle with leukemia. About three weeks ago, they placed him in an induced coma and I went to see her at the hospital. Her sadness, pain, and suffering hit me so hard. I tried my best to say the right words and tell her to keep faith and keep praying and God is a healer and performs miracles. But, I felt so helpless to really comfort her (though she has told me several times that my visiting that day and talking with her over the months has given her hope and kept her going). I just didn’t feel well-versed enough in scripture to explain why these things were happening and why, despite all their best efforts, things just went from bad to worse.

I had been praying for my friend’s family since her husband was first diagnosed, but I’ve never been comfortable with or good at praying on my own. After that visit with her, I started saying little prayers multiple times a day, awkward as they may have been and felt. The Sunday after I visited her, I was watching In-Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley (I really like him because he is a teaching pastor). I needed some spiritual encouragement and direction. He was doing a sermon on “A Strong Church.” In it, he spoke about the need to have a church where you bring your Bible and you study it. A few moments later, as I was preparing to leave for hot yoga, I started posting the following poster as a fitness inspiration:

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And something clicked. Yes, this applied to fitness, but it also applied to me and something that I’d been thinking about for years. I was really ready to work on developing a closer relationship with God and Jesus. I thought, “Just like I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my physical health, I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my spiritual health! I mean, shoot! I spend 30-40 minutes on Facebook and IG every morning!! I need to give some of that time to God!”

And 365 Days of the Word began that very day. I asked for suggestions on what books or apps might be helpful and several people recommended YouVersion The Bible, which is chock full of reading plans. I started The One Year Bible that day and completed Day 15 this morning.

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Now, instead of waking up and grabbing my phone to check Facebook and Instagram for notifications and turning on the news to create background noise, I start my cup of coffee, say a prayer, and spend some quiet time alone with God and the “Bible.” I still have to stop myself from checking FB and IG and turning on the TV first … in fact, I turned on the TV yesterday and had to quickly turn it off. But, I’m working on replacing my old habits and routine with a new one, just like I did with fitness … one day at a time.

Okay, I have fifty gajillion other things I could share about this, but I know that I have started to ramble! This post ended up being far longer than I initially intended … but that’s how it almost ALWAYS is with me. Once I start, it’s hard to stop me 😉 and I thought it was important to share this new journey. I hope that you are glad that I did so.

Okay, that’s it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I need to go wash this hair and maybe …. maybe … there might be a blow-out in the immediate future that I’ll be sharing ;).

Lata Gatas!!

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