This dedication to exercise is nothing new. I renew my commitment at least two or three times a year. Most of the time it lasts about two weeks. We're half way there. Let's see if I can clear the hurdle.
Every time I start working out there's one thing that always works its way into my workout rotation: one or more Jillian Michaels workouts.
The other day, I tried a new one. It did not got well. In fact it led to the following set of tweets:
Me: Ugh, I'm gonna pass out
Instructor: That completes our warm-up
me: this was a bad idea
Those were followed by: I need new shoes. That woman should not be smiling while she does that. This is not for beginners. #WorkoutThoughts
Finally I ended at: Thank goodness I have a fast forward button. Where's the cool down? #WorkoutThoughts
Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I did end up a shaking, stammering puddle on the floor, fast forwarding and looking for the cool down section of the workout. At least I took the time to do the cool down.
But the interesting thing that happened after I sent those tweets is the one I got from a friend of mine saying I must have been doing Jillian Michaels. My tweets contained no identifying characteristics other than the fact that I was working out and I sucked at it, and she knew it was Jillian Michaels.
Now you're probably thinking that I'm going to say we should live our lives in such a way that people can know we're talking about Jesus without having to mention him.
You would be wrong.
Because what I really got to thinking about was why in the world so many people, including my friend and me, keep going back to Jillian Michaels workout if being miserable and practically unable to do them is so synonymous with her.
Why would we do that? Because it isn't fun. I have dance workouts that I do that I would consider fun. Even walking on the treadmill while watching TV or reading a book is more fun. Jillian Michaels isn't fun. It's torture.
If you've tried a new Jillian workout and nasty thoughts ranging from general grumbling to the strongest cuss words you're willing to entertain didn't run through your head, then you are already in crazy good shape or you're lying.
So WHY do we go back to her?
Because it works. Seriously. I stuck with her 30 day shred for about 20 days a little over a year ago. (yeah, yeah, I know.) And while I hated starting that DVD every day, I loved that I could actually do a set of pushups for the first time in ever. More than my head got off the floor when I tried to do a crunch. I was able to actually open the pickle jar.
This is what living for Jesus is like sometimes.
Are we better off when we do what He tells us to? Absolutely!
Is it painful to let Him work out all our bad habits and rid us of the extra baggage we carry around? You'd better believe it.
Is it fun to go through the purifying process? Very rarely.
Letting Jesus change you is a potentially painful and fumbling inducing process. But the result of a better, stronger, purer you is worth every minute of it.
Next time you don't like what you read in the Bible or feel like the pastor is stepping on your toes during the Sunday morning service, remember that one day the result will be evident.
When you find yourself listening about your friend's successes without jealousy.
That day you discover sacrificing for your kids doesn't make you quite as frustrated as it used to.
The moment you find yourself confronted with an opportunity to speak up for Christ and not only do you have the nerve to open your mouth, but the words come out.
Those are the spiritual version of those skinny-jeans-finally-zip moments. And they are totally worth the pain.