Get Movin’

QUICK NEWSFLASH UPDATE: Calling all moms…today is the launch of Focus on the Family’s Wednesday webcasts just for moms. Today’s guest is our Hearts at Home’s own Jill Savage. Check it out here.


Thanks to those of you who carved out time to leave a comment on Monday’s post. So many moms (and grandmas) among us are searching for ideas to reward character rather than physical or mental skill. We may revisit this topic in the future!

I wish I had 150 of the prizes to give to each of you who commented, but alas….only two. Those winners of the two Family Enrichment Tool Kits are:

Ashley; Timestamp March 29, 2010 at 8:24 am and

Sherry B.; Timestamp March 29, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Ladies, send your home address to me at [email protected] right away!


Hello Weight Loss Wednesday sisters! Can’t wait to hear how your weeks went. But first, let’s talk about the dreaded “E” word.



I have to be honest with you. I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I hate to run. I hate to sweat. I hate to exert force to lift weights. I can’t stand spandex and I absolutely loathe the atmosphere and the smell of gyms. I know, I know…it sounds as if I have a hate-hate relationship with exercise. So let me tell you the ONLY thing I love about exercise.

The way I feel when I am done.

I feel clear-headed. I feel younger. I feel as if I can meet life’s challenges with renewed energy. And I feel totally tired, yet strangely refreshed.

But, I still start off hating it EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

When I first began my weight loss journey, I was in such dire shape that I could hardly walk a city block. My knee harbored constant pain from a torn meniscus. Just bending and straightening it made tears well up in my eyes. I remember crying at night and praying to God, begging Him to take away my pain. I also had a bad case of bursitis in my opposite heel that was also agonizing. I promised God that if He’d just make the pain go away, I would start to exercise and lose my excess weight.

Alas, the persistent pain remained. And it was all my fault. My mother-in-love often tells her kids and grandkids “You are the sum of your choices” a quote from someone famous in the past. Whom, I’m not exactly sure. Well, it was true for me. The sum of my choices added up to one big overweight and out-of-shape mommy mess.

Medical tests and MRI’s showed that my torn meniscus was not healing on its own. And the doctors said it would probably never heal as long as I sported too much weight on my small frame. (I am 5 foot 5, have a small frame with tiny wrists and a size 4 wedding band and yet I weighed nearly 250 pounds!!!!) My doctor isn’t quick to pop a pill for every ailment, but he saw no other way out of my severe discomfort as long as I remained obese. So I was prescribed pain meds for my knee. I took the script home, but didn’t fill it. I didn’t want a pill to mask my pain and prevent me from getting to the root of my issue.

So I had no choice. I had to start to lose weight and attempt to exercise while in pain. Our local hospital has a rehab center (where I was going for physical therapy on my knee) that is clean, professional and full of great equipment. It does not at all have an atmosphere of a regular gym with raunchy music, scantily-clad co-eds and mid-life crisis-ers trying to pick each other up (yuck!!) It is a place where sweet senior citizens try to recover from a stoke or regular folks attempt to rehabilitate after an injury. I found out that this rehab center also sold year memberships—at a very low cost—to the public.(And, they have flat screen TVs on the treadmills and ellipticals. That is a plus to this live-in-the-country-with-only-bunny-ears-on-my-non-cable-TV-gal. I could exercise AND watch FOX news channel. Yippee!!)

So, I signed on the dotted line. I got my doctor’s permission. (Required by the rehab center since I was so obese. That was embarrassing) I donned a pair of BIG sweats (the ones Pat Robertson held up during my 700 Club interview) and hopped….er….um…carefully climbed on the elliptical machine. I began to operate it at a steady pace and went as long as my little heart could stand it. When the sweat beaded up on my brow and I thought my heart would surely pound out of my chest, I stopped. I looked down at the timer on the elliptical.

I had exercised a full 2 ½ mintues.

Ugh!!!! I wanted to quit. I wanted to cry. I wanted to eat an entire bag of Chips Ahoy Coconut Cookies. I knew I was too far gone; destined to be forever fat.

But people, in my mind I saw the sweet faces of my children and the concerned eyes of my wonderful, loving and accepting husband. (He never once made a crack, let alone a comment, about my weight. He tells me now that he was concerned for my health, but he never made me feel unattractive. He is a gem!!!) As I thought of them, I knew I didn’t want to leave this earth due to my choices and render them motherless.

So I  kept going. I strolled over to the treadmill. I slowly walked on it until my knee hurt so badly I wanted to cry.

Yep.  You guessed it. I only lasted 4 minutes. At a pace of about 2 miles an hour. That means it would have taken me a half hour to walk a mile. Not exactly record breaking speed.

Tuckered out and tired, I decided to stop the aerobics and switch to weight training. I sloppily used a machine or two, trying to appear that I knew what I was doing. I did not. One of the sweet workers at the center showed me how to properly use two machines; one that worked your arms (gotta get rid of that teacher flab—you know, the stuff that jiggles on your upper arms when you write on a chalkboard) and one that worked your legs. I used those machines for about 5 minutes each.

Then, my workout was over. In a grand total of about 18 minutes.

Not a workout to write home about. But it was a start. And, I felt I had passed a HUGE hurdle when it was over.

After that first day, I continued to go to the workout center as often as I could fit it in. Sometimes I went 6 times a week. Sometimes I went 3. Always I tried to do one of two things:

Go further than the day before: (meaning, if I had gone for 15 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 miles an hour, the next day I went for 16 minutes, covering a longer distance.)

Or, go faster than the day before: (meaning, if I had gone for 15 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 miles per hour, the next day I went for 15 minutes again, but at 2.6 miles per hour.)

Baby steps. But they added up. After losing the weight (106 pounds) in those 10 ½ months, I had worked up to walking 2 to 2 ½ miles at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour. (At that pace, I was now covering a mile in just over 17 minutes, not a half hour like when I first began. God had allowed me to cut my time nearly in half!)

Eventually, I even began to run.

Okay trot.

The point is, start small and take baby steps. It works!

It helped me to keep in mind this verse:

“..but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Finally, if you get nothing else out of this long winded post, get this:

Do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. It matters. The next day, do the same thing, or do a little more. If you do not give up and add time or distance (or weights) a little at a time, you too can learn to have a love/hate relationship with exercise. In fact, I will admit to you that you could even say that I am now addicted to my daily workout.

And I never thought it was possible to be addicted to anything other than chocolate, chips, cheese and ice cream.

Glory to God!!!!

*Now your turn…How do you work exercise into your busy day? Or what excuses do you have for not moving more? What do you think would be some baby step goals for you when it comes to exercise? Leave us a comment on any of these topic and also tell us how your week went.

Movin’ it blessings,


  1. “Weight & wait” go hand in hand in my life. I wait to lose weight, it’s never the right time, it’s too hot/too cold out to exercise, I’m waiting on God to motivate me, I’m waiting on people to see through the weight barrier I have created to see my true self, weight, wait, weight, wait………Until today.
    God places people/barriers/roadways/bridges/and cords in our life at HIS perfect timing, and you are part of it. I have hidden the pains and burdens of my entire life through food. If I felt the emotions boiling to the surface I would stuff it down with food, any and all kinds. Then the cycle would start…guilt, shame, fear, disgust, pity, hate, topped off with a healthy dose of MORE food. Instant gratification that would hang not only on my body, but also on my soul…making me dislike myself not only on the outside, but deep within to the core of my very being. From worrying endlessly as a young child over the health of my mother, to trying to be the perfect little girl, to sexual abuse as a preteen, to multiple sex partners, resulting in children to three different men, the devastating loss of both my mother and youngest child, food has kept all of these memories caged within. I thought food was my barrier from letting these emotions takes control of me on a daily basis. In reality, food, lack of exercise and the excessive weight has KEPT them alive. Satan knew that he was winning, rubbing his hands together with glee with every bite of food, knowing he had a strong hold over me. I believed and believe in God, but I was turning to what I thought was getting me through the sorrow.
    I have recently started walking, watching what I am consuming, but still wondering if I could do this alone. Without a doubt, God crossed our “cords”, showing me that He is with me through you. Your Encouragement for Today has given me “a light at the end of the tunnel” countless times in my life, speaking to me directly. Thank you for reaching out to me, offering your hand, pushing my plate away, my fork down, and telling me that I have the ultimate comfort that food will never replace….God my Father, and our Savior Jesus Christ. I am no longer waiting for the weight to come off!
    God Bless!

  2. I have a friend that comes over Tuesday-Thursday to walk on my treadmill then lift weights then on Mondays & Fridays we walk at the park and invite other friends from Church for walking and prayer time.

  3. I am so excited about finding this! I need to lose 50 lbs. I have been fighting my weight for about 20 years. I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 19 breaking 18 bones, heart damage and a brain injury. There has not been a one day in 20 years that I am not in pain. Of course adding 50 lbs to my frame has not helped! I have started eating better and try to exercise 3 to 5 per week. So far I have lost 13 lbs! It is a daily struggle. But I know that with God ALL things are possible! Thank you for putting this site together.

  4. Gabriela, thank you for the update on Beatriz’s bump! PTL

    I actually like to exercise. I have been exercising for a year and by Oct when I started WLW, I hadn’t seen any difference in how clothes felt. Journaling the food made a difference, unfortunately a small one, but one none the less! :) I don’t think I’m smart with my food.

    Well, I haven’t exercised since I found out I was pregnant bc it made me so hot and then I got exhausted easily, now I’m waiting to start again. :(

    The good news–I only gained 2# this past month!! That is a huge thing for me! I started my 2nd trimester with hardly any weight gain, in the past I would have gained 10# by now. Guess all this ms has its perks. :P I know, I know, now the pounds are going to come quickly. Bracing myself.

    I didn’t check in Wed bc I had horrible ms, worse than normal. :( But by the afternoon I was able to keep some food down.

    My church prayed for us last Sun, it was great. I got to share why we have hope that God will do a miracle, if it is His will. It made an attitude change in 2 pregnant women there. One found out she’s having a boy and had her heart set on a girl and now she is just grateful she is having a healthy baby. :) And the other one is not married and she is having a hard time accepting the pregnancy, she’s farther along than me, and now she is going to cherish every day! God is good!

    Have a blessed Easter everyone! xoxo

  5. Yesterday I wrote a comment and then went to submit it and the site crashed. It was rather lengthy so I won’t bother to start again. All I’ll say is… this week I gained 700 grams and exercised 6 days with a variety of walking, running and weights at the gym. I don’t think my over indulgence in chocolate and chips last night will help me to turn this series of gains I am experiencing around! I must remember not to just shut down and head for the cupboard but to actually be present with my mind and body together at all times. Not sure that makes sense? Will go now before I get lengthy again. (-:

  6. Karen, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise too, but afterwards I always feel great. I have not been exercising very regularly. I want to recommit to exercising at least five days a week.

    This week I stayed at the same weight. With the warm weather we are having I am looking forward to being outside more and being more active.

    I hope everyone has a blessed Easter.

  7. Last week was a bad week with eating – and exercise was non-existent but the weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend so I’m looking forward to getting out there and moving!

  8. I don’t like to sweat, either, but for many years I would do an aerobics video several times a week, and that seemed to keep me at a normal weight. I ate whatever I wanted, but I was very active at work. My paternal side of the family is all heavy and have type 2 diabetes, but for some reason I didn’t think that would ever be me. Child number two came along at the age of 35, and I didn’t quite get down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I attributed it to getting older. My stress level went up, AND get this one ladies….my brother-in-law said that he thought I was lazy because I was breastfeeding. A good wife would bottle feed so she could prop the bottle and keep on doing housework. Sitting down to feed the baby means you are a lazy woman. I know! I wanted to strangle him. Seriously. But I allowed that accusation to begin to define my days. I stopped exercising, so that I would never get behind in the housework, and so I could still sit down to pay attention to my baby. Yeah. Now I wish I could go back and have a do-over on that one. Then baby number three at the age of 40, and now five years later, I weigh as much as I did when I was nine months pregnant with my first. Last November, I decided that I needed to start exercising and watching what I eat. Part of it was the shock of realizing that for the last few years my clothes have been too small and needed to be replaced every season. Part of it was the death of my parents about 20 years younger than they should have gone – all due to health problems related to factors that could have been changed. I decided I wanted to be healthy for my family. The buck stops here. I began to walk and lift weights. Five minutes was my maximum, and one pound on the weights. Now I am up to 45 minutes and five pounds. I had my body fat analyzed today and they told me I have ten pounds to go. One would think that I would be like, Hooray, only ten pounds to go! But honestly, I am at the point where I have to practically starve to lose. They told me I only need 1200 calories a day to survive. That means I need to fall under that to lose. Criminy! The problem apparently is my size – I am short and small-boned. But God made me this way for a reason, right? Anyway, to answer the question of how I fit exercise in – I walk when my youngest is in preschool. I get up early to do weights while I watch Christian programming on the television. I try to do it four to five times a week, but admittedly there are times I only do it two or three. I have been better lately. Now if I can’t get the walk in during preschool, since the weather is better here in Michigan, I take her with me in the jogging stroller. Yesterday the whole family went and we did 1.8 miles in 30 minutes with everyone walking and an occasional spurt of jogging. I am planning to be prepared to do a 5k in mid-May, so I have a ways to go. The doctor told me last week that it’s ok to alternate walking and jogging, that all running by mid-May might cause some leg/knee/foot problems to train up too fast for it. So with her go ahead, I’m in.

  9. Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been pretty good about working out 3-5 times per week for a long time. However, i was not counting calories so the workouts were not helping me lose weight. When I do both and keep my daily calories in check then i lose. I have done both the gym thing, treadmill at home, and dvd workouts at home. Currently I have a collection of Leslie Sansone dvd’s that I rotate. It keeps things fresh and I enjoy the variety. Since the weather is getting warmer already we have our bikes out too and that’s something we enjoy doing as a family. I’m hoping that we will go on lots of rides this year!
    Have a Happy Easter everyone!
    Rebecca Ann

  10. Hey Karen,

    Love-Hate Relationship with the BIG E, too.

    But I always feel so much better AFTER I walk.

    So I walk the dog every day, who is also overweight because he steals the food of the other dog when she isn’t looking, I pray while I walk, or sometimes I’ll sing if I’m alone in the park, or listen to praise and worship songs on my MP3 player.

    All that takes the focus off of me — the dog along, prayer, and worship songs — helps me to relax from the cares of the day while I exercise. So to do the BIG E, I spend some time with a BIG G — God!

  11. About 2 weeks ago I started truly taking care of myself. This started with exercise. I carve out 45 minutes-1 hour at least 5 times a week. I am just starting with walking outside (I live in CA and it’s beautiful right now). I walk 2-4 miles a day. I also started walking my kindergarten daughter to school. I homeschool my other 3 children during the day and found that I was getting very little time to myself which caused me much anxiety in a lot of areas. So now my exercise time is one way I get to be alone and it’s such a great stress release for me too. I actually look forward to it now.

    Reading your post was renewed inspiration for me too! I loved watching your tv interview. You look great!

  12. Thanking God Beatriz’s bump went down!  
    Thank you so so soooo much for all your prayers.
    This week I experienced a very strong temptation and began opening the refrigerator, took out something to eat to comfort myself.  Crying inside to Jesus, I told him while holding the spoon, I am going to obey and seek You PLEASE help me.   I put away the food and went upstairs and cried to Him.  Later I was able to go to bed and sleep peacefully.

    I have tried gyms, too.
    After enrolling our son in taekwondo, we learned that our whole family of 5 could join for the price of two.   Most importantly, they share the gospel of Jesus Christ!   So we have been attending twice a week and we have been focusing on doing 34 sit ups and push ups in 1 minute.  This past Monday we signed up for more classes during the week.
    I try to squeeze in other workouts during the week.  Sometimes we go hiking w/ the scouts, play wii fit with family, or go for a walk around the block. Oh and I am starting to exercise early in the morning before everyone gets up after praying.   

  13. Karen,
    I have been reading your blog for sometime now. I enjoy your posts. I enjoy your stories. However, this time…you hit a nerve in me. In a good way though!

    I am 26 years old and have over 200 lbs to lose. I have already lost 54 lbs. It was 64 lbs but I let myself gain 10 back. When I saw your before and after pictures…I was stunned. I thought it was two different people in those pictures. You have given me some inspiration.

    I’m not married and I have no kids. I have always felt that my weight was holding me back from finding a boyfriend or husband. Afterall, who wants to marry someone who is 200+ lbs. overweight. That used to be my thought process, but now I understand better that in God’s timing everything will fall in place. The right man to be my husband wouldn’t care what I look like. Anyway, I want to lose weight for God. I can’t serve him being this overweight. I am tired of being fat. So I am going to start over today and start small and build on that. Thanks for everything. You are inspiring me to be a healthier person.

  14. I have hit a plateau and just started a run/walk routine on my tredmill. I have been getting up at 5:45 am to work out before work. I am not able to fit it in otherwise. It has been frustrating because for me it’s about the calories I eat. It’s not a lot of food at all and when I eat extra I dont lose or I even gain weight.

  15. Like Nancy, I have just decided to join this group. I have about 10 pounds to lose, I’m guessing. I am thin, but I have baby weight to lose. I’m embarrassed by my mid-section. I am motivated to exercise because I need to for health reasons. I have had chronic migraines (every day – all day) for years. I recently went to MHNI in Ann Arbor, MI, and part of my healing will be exercise. It helps manage the pain. I’ve used the excuse, though, that I’m too tired or too much in pain to exercise. But every time I do, I feel better. I feel renewed, invigorated, and ready to keep going with my day. I love Tae Bo and walking. My husband and I went on a bike ride the other night, too. So I’m ready to do this, and I hope that this group can help! Thanks, Karen. I’m amazed by your before and after pictures. What an encouragement. What a victory in Jesus!! :-)

  16. Hello Karen and ladies,
    I am just joining this group of beautiful ladies, who like myself, need accountability and encouragement to be good stewards of our health and bodies. I need to lose about 50 lbs to get to a healthy weight. I have the head knowledge of what it will take, but it is hard to get that knowledge down to the rest of my body. Thanks for sharing. I will be thinking of ya’ll this week each time I exercise. (Hopefully you will be in my thoughts often.)

  17. Thanks for the encouragement Karen and for sharing your story. we all need to have stick-to-it-tiv-ness. We also need to pray, rely on the Lord’s strength and power and no when we can push our limits. I exercised several years ago and started having pain in my foot a couple days in. Assuming it was an attack from the enemy I kept going and really did myself in. Almost two years later and at the end of my rope I am in Physical Therapy and asking God to take the pain away and also the inflammed tendons and cyst that are in my foot. But I am starting slow to exercise. I will do my part and ask God to do his healing work in me so that I can exercise. I know what you mean about how it makes you feel afterwards. It can almost become addictive and I miss it. So I am going to proclaim that 2010 is MY TIME to exercise, to lose weight and to be healthy. I just got Dr. Don Colbert’s new book “I Can do this Diet”. It has amazing information about Hormones, Inflammation, Allergies, etc.. Things that can be part of the problem. I also read that coffee can produce a cortisol reaction in 30 minutes. Cortisol is not our friend girls so limit the coffee to two cups a day max. That is 16 ounces (a cup is 8 ounces). Make it great week girls. I am hoping to try a new workout- if it is successful I will be the first to let you know. Have a Blessed Easter.

  18. I’m with you…I severely dislike working out…until I’m done. One of my biggest reasons for doing it is because I know that the time I spend doing this now (and eating healthy) will keep me around longer for my husband (so I can lovingly annoy him longer!) and my kids.

    This was a wonderful post…thank you!

  19. Thanks Karen!
    As the other women stated — you could have been writing “my” story! Complete with Knee problems! I, on the other hand, love to work out and sweat — but had gotten so overweight and hurting, I wasn’t. I started walking last Fall, and am picking it up again….I’m encouraged to get back to the gym, now, after reading your post. THANKS for sharing!!!!
    I’m trusting your daughter made it safely and didn’t wind up in the land of Oz. :-) I prayed for her safety. She certainly has had her share of character building travels!! :-)
    Have a Wonderful Wednesday,
    God’s peace and joy to you today!

  20. i am sitting here waiting for my energy to appear so i can go for a walk. i am trying to convince myself that it will help me even though i have aches and pains. i am about 80 pounds overweight and need to get it off . thanks for the encouragement because i know once i get started on a daily routine it will get better for me. It is just telling my brain to do it and that the dishes and laundry will really wait until i get to them. thanks for the encouragement today. lynn

  21. My workout routine goes like this….Monday walk 3 miles (1 in afternoon on treadmill at work; 2 after work with boyfriend) Tuesday – walk 1 mile; 30 minutes of weight lifting; Wed – walk 2 miles; 30 minutes of aerobics; Thurs – 3 miles; weights; Frid – 3 miles. I’m struggling with weekends. I keep wanting to exercise, but it’s very hit or miss. And with all that I’m up 2 pounds this week. There is something terribly wrong with my metabolism!! I haven’t done well with food this week. Sunday and Tuesday were VERY naughty days for me. My boyfriend and I do a lot of exercise together and it’s treasured quality time for me, so I actually do look forward to the walking. And if it weren’t of him I wouldn’t be motivated to do half of what I do. I don’t however, come near spandex!! UUgh. Baggy sweat pants for me!! :) So, I only ended up with 6 pounds for March instead of 8, but I think I’ll be back on track now. Good luck ladies!! I truly believe the key to exercise is finding the thing that you don’t hate. There are lots of different options out their now. I bought my Total gym equipment because of a very painful year of Plantar Facaitus (?) where I could barely walk some days. I really like that piece of equipment. Most days I have to force myself to use it, but I’m usually glad that I did. I also spent many years walking on the treadmill while reading. I LOVE to read, so walking on the treadmill was kind of a reward to me because it was 45 minutes of book time. If you can find some enjoyment in your moving then it makes it easier to do. God bless you all in your efforts.

  22. Hi Karen! Thanks for this timely post!! I have the hate-hate relationship with exercise. Even though this is something I long to do. I have a dream of running/walking in the Indy 500 5K next may. I am 10 pounds away from my goal weight and just told the Lord late last week that I need to get moving and firm up! You have inspired and convinced me to put the spandex on today! Thanks Karen!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s very similar to mine. I’m 5.6, small frame with small wrists, size 4 ring finger (the wedding band is gone after 24 years of marriage) and the last time I looked I was 235lbs, I’m sure it’s higher now and there is something terribly wrong with my right knee – but I’m not sure what. It’s gotten worse the heavier I’ve gotten. I’ve been exercising (walking) sporadically for three weeks and I feel defeated at times by the lies that tell me I’m too far gone for any of this to ever make a difference. I know God sent me here for encouragement today – the similarities had me smiling in recognition – I so love how He loves me. I know He’s with me, cheering me on and while I know it’s going to take a long time to undo the damage I’ve done by poor choices, I know I can do it if I keep my eyes on the Truth. I am truly appreciative of you sharing your story. God bless!

  24. I too have a love-hate relationship with exercise. Karen, I feel like you are writing the story of my life because they are very similar as far as struggles with food and exercise. I, however, have not lost my 100 pounds yet! I am avoiding my yearly check-up with my doctor (due in April) because I haven’t made the changes she recommended last year to help lower my borderline high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your posts are such an encouragement to me and so many others as we’re all trying to figure this thing out. My excuse this winter has been the cold weather and that I don’t want to get up early. I prefer to exercise at night after the kiddos are in bed, so I’m hoping to get more active as our weather here in Michigan gets warmer – 80 this weekend! Thanks for being honest and sharing what has worked for you in overcoming the challenges of getting healthy!

  25. Karen,
    I needed to read this. I am about 100 pounds overweight and I know that until I have a regular exercise routine, I will not Lise the weight. Every day I wake up and tell myself I am going to exercise, and every night I go to bed feeling defeated. But I will start out small and work my way up to something respectable! Thank you for your care for those of us who are where you used to be. God bless!

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