On furlough, we do a lot of sitting. Sitting in the car, sitting in a pew, sitting in a desk, sitting at the table for a meal.
It's difficult to find ways around all the sitting, but every now and then I can get a little creative and sneak in some exercise in the craziest of ways. One of my favorite ways also incorporates one of my favorite loves: serving others.
Sometimes during missions conferences, a meal is served in the church fellowship hall. Everyone goes through the line, picks their favorite foods, sits down, and eats. Usually the missionaries are the first to go through the line. Since they are the first through the line, they are typically the first ones finished too. That opens up a perfect opportunity.
When I finish and have had sufficient time to fellowship with those sitting at my table, I get up and get moving. I use the opportunity to scout out people around the room who are finishing up their meals, and I take their empty plates to the trash can for them. It often surprises them that the missionary is serving them in such a way, but I quickly reassure them with a smile that they are doing me a favor by allowing me to walk around the room collecting plates for the exercise. With a friendly grin, and satisfied that I enjoy what I am doing, they give in and allow me to remove their plates.
In this simple gesture, I am accomplishing four things:
1. Exercising and moving instead of sitting
Face it. We have to grab every opportunity we can no matter how small.
2. Enjoying fellowship with more than just those at my own table
I often stop for a brief moment and chat with the people. It isn't a cardio workout, but simply getting up and moving. While I am moving, I am not just zipping through like a whirlwind, but looking for opportunities to have a connection with the people of the church. As a missionary, the more contact I have with the church family, the better. I want them to know I care about them, and I want them to remember me so they will remember to pray for our family and field.
3. Serving others
I can't help it! I am addicted to loving on others.
4. Setting an example for my children
They are watching me, and the last church we visited I turned around to discover my children were also walking around and cleaning up plates.
Non Scale Victories
Victories come in many forms, not just numbers on a scale. Celebrate each victory. I ran 5k in under 40 minutes! A personal best for me!
My Go Bag
If you see me out and about, you probably have seen my little blue cooler. It's my lifeline. When I head out the door, I grab it. Why? It has my snacks, water, and a couple of items that just might come in handy to keep my eating under control as much as possible.
This is a typical day time go bag. I carry a late morning snack and a late afternoon snack. Some of my favorite snacks are peeled mini carrots, cucumbers, bananas, Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt (80 calorie), grapes, unsweetened applesauce, celery sticks, and occasionally nuts.
I also carry at least two extra bottles of water.
I carry light ranch dressing with me in case we end up at a restaurant that doesn't have a light dressing option for their salad. Yes, I have retrieved my dressing from the van for such situations. The light mayonnaise is for similar situations where some form of sandwich is served. Most restaurants do not carry a light mayo.
Packing these items helps to keep me from getting too hungry between meals. It also helps me to tweak meals to make them as healthy as possible.
Furlough Fitness Bucket ListIt takes a little creativity to have an exercise routine while travelling. (The word "routine" certainly is loosely used in that sentence.) I have done some crazy things to burn a few extra calories! So I have a challenge for you. While on your next furlough, see how many of these items you can get accomplished. I have marked the ones I have done (*).
- Hotel fitness center *
- Hotel Stairs
- Walk/jog a mile in the church gymnasium*
- Hotel pool*
- Workout in the car using resistance bands or other car-friendly equipment*
- Exercise at a park while the kids play and stretch their legs*
- Head to Toe Fitness in hotel room or prophet's chamber*
- Rest Area workout*
- Playground obstacle course
- Go for a walk/jog/hike with a pastor's wife*
Let's get moving!