Posts Tagged ‘black church’

My First Mud Ninja Experience…For Real…

July 30, 2012

Hello, Everyone!
Hope all is well with you today! It is 4:12am, Sunday, July 29..and I just got out of bed because I had to write about my Mud Ninja experience! I tried to wait until later in the day, but nope, couldn’t do it! I am sure I will add additional detail in the next day or so.

I generally don’t do  long posts, but in order to tell my experience, this one may be a bit lengthy!

If you are considering doing a challenging obstacle course run (Warrior Dash, Mud Ninja, etc) or if you just want a good laugh, or maybe you just want to visualize what my crazy friends and I experienced on this journey, then keep reading!  Yeah, we are some crazy folks – we said that to each other while running down the hill over rocks, mud and weeds.

Training tip: When I train, or train others, it’s always good to remember to do pushing and pulling movements, or a push/pull routine. When you do a “push”, do a “pull”. You will mention this during the post.

When my wife and I arrive at the event we were amazed that the event was less than 25 minutes from where we live – Chillicothe, Ohio!  We thought, is this still in Ross County??  We were to meet 2 friends of ours also participating in this event.  There were people from all over there – Atlanta, Baltimore, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, just to name a few, all to come participate or to just experience this event.

This was my FIRST Mud Ninja event (my friends Todd and Dawns, too) so  I thought, ok, how rough can it be – I’ve done the Warrior Dash before.  Lord Jeeezuz help. Was I in for a rude awakening.

In order to prepare for this event, I started running hills and trails early part of June..I knew there would be hills.  I am soo glad that I did!

After we got registered, it was time for us to start…..here we go..!

As soon as we take off, 100 yards into it, no lackadaisical stuff here, the course goes directly into a steep, steep STEEP decline full of large rocks, so you really had to watch your footing and maintain your balance. Not a problem so far…but we knew the further we ran the winding trail down, we would have to come back up at some point.  People were walking already so we went around them.

We get to what we thought was the bottom, and we have to wade thru a pond – a smelly pond with grey water and green stuff floating on top – but hey, it’s the Mud Ninja right? So, we’re up for any obstacle! After getting out of the pond we said “we are some crazy people” ain’t we ! We laughed and then crazy me said you don’t see many black people doin this type of stuff! (although there were some there. Another post on that coming soon!)…sure don’t! But I am a fan of doing different stuff!

Well, we continued to descend even further..then here it comes..we start to go up..we run..so far so good (walking lunges and hill runs really helped with this).  By now the trail is muddy, so people were slipping and falling on some parts. we get to the top and the next obstacle was a water slide – back down again we go.  It was about 100 ft slide. You slide down into water…..oh yeah, and some mud. Fun.  Then we go down hill some more and run into the next obstacle – a very tight zig-zag maze of thin rope you had to go over while long rags hung in your face (like a jungle)..once out, it was more downhill from there. Seriously?   More downhill? You needed good core strength for this part – the trail was muddy and slick and you had to maintain your balance.  We get to the bottom and we had to cross two creeks..and what lies ahead, the first obstacle that required pulling.

It was a vertical, yes, VERTICAL climb up the muddy side of the embankment. You had to grab rope and pull yourself up…slippery, wet and muddy!  I loved it! Some people were struggling with this one. I thought I was Bruce Willis or somebody saving someone hanging from the side of a building! Just like you see in the movies, I grabbed onto the top of the rope and stretched my hand out.  I yelled to one lady just hanging there..”c’mon honey, take my hand! ” She didn’t at first-she was afraid to let go.  Then people said “take the big mans hand take the big mans hand’! I finally got her up, then I  had to crouch and make my way thru the thicket. Off running again – more down hill.  What the???  Still going DOWN?? Really??

Ok, FINALLY…here it comes..steep hill..I saw how far up we had to go. Let’s do this. I ran it – pushing myself and telling myself “do it!” “come on..come on”..WOW. My legs on fire now-but I work thru it.  Finally, it levels off as the course starts winding in another direction….SCREECH!! tall grass hid THIS from me  around the corner.  A TUNNEL. A dark, gloomy tunnel. Lord, jeezus help.  UUUGH! I run to it..and stopped again…ok, I love the Lord and all..and sometimes we slip…well I thought I THOUGHT a few cuss words..but uhm..but before I knew it, they actually slipped out!  *$*&@#N@(#N and *(#$#^&)N)@*#N@@)(*&!@  ….then the words started coming out like a machine gun – *&#$(#* (*#(@N@#….*$(#N…&^^%…(#&#!…*##*#)!*…..forgive me, Lord!

I am claustrophobic and I had forgotten all about this tunnel on the course! I jogged in place…looked around..then I jogged in a circle…trying to sike myself up.  OK, I can do this…I proceed to the small opening..peep in…I come right back out! OK, let me try it again…got in a little further this time..but nope, I backed that thang right back up!  By now, Todd and Dawn have made it thru. They knew I had a fear of this..they were encouraging me from the other side and they waited.

On the fourth attempt, the attendant said, you can go around..well, I started to just go around, then I said “no”.

So I tried again. I yelled back at the attendant “don’tyouletnobodycomebehindme!” If someone came behind me it would not be pretty! I was already in a state of panic and I needed this tunnel all to myself. Yes, I did.  Ok, here goes… My heart racing 5x it’s normal speed, I get down, and I crawled and screamed the entire way thru..I did not look back..I get to the middle and I can see shimmers of light about and ahead..I crawled faster..sho’ did. I see the light! Crawl, Sidney! Faster, I see the light!  Shoot, I tried to get out so fast I bumped my head on a beam – ouch! But I did it! I faced my fear and got thru it.  I had to crawl about 75 yards in the mud and water.  The animal exercises, spider man pushups and the crawling moves helped with this.

Once out, immediately there was an ascent – this was steep, too! Really??  The tunnel took a lot out of me and I couldn’t get my heart rate down fast enough from the trauma – but I continued to run. We get to the top of the hill…finally a water break..uh oh..I get a bit sick on the stomach ..What??!! Me? I never get sick on the stomach due to exercise…well; I took a swig of water, swallowed a bit and spit it out, cleaned mud of our hands and headed directly to the next obstacle.  No time for nausea to stop me.

The next obstacle was a wall of about 20ft high I guess. The wall was wet, and there was nothing to help you get over it. No rope, no pegs, nothing. You had to have upper body strength and use team work – Or make a human ladder as I called it. We hoisted and pulled several people up.

Uhm, but why did I have the guy in fatigues who I’m sure weighed 50lbs more than scrawny ol’ me, waiting to be hoisted up?? And he had on a weighted back pack!!  He was on the ground, I was on top of the wall already, and here I am trying to lift him! Well, after several grunts we did it! Todd and I said, ok, time to go.   Lets get down and keep moving.  The pulling motion was mostly used here – the rows and lat pulldowns helped with this.

Skipping a few obstacles ahead, we are now on the other side of the property.

Low crawling thru water and mud, under barbed wire was next. You had to stay low for this one..then up an down mounds. Upper and lower body strength needed for these. At times you had to slide down into the pit and crawl your way back out.

Uh oh..repel time! Hanging upside down while dripping wet and muddy hands! Awesome! You had to pull yourself across a very thin rope to the other side. Otherwise, if you let go, you fall into a deep pit of water.  I’ve never done that before that I can remember – even as a kid. We all had success on this one! That pulling motion is required again – upper body strength needed for this one.

   

A gorge, a valley, a canyon or whatever you want to name it, was now before us.  Is this really in Ross County??? Well, we ran down and down and down and down what seemed like 100 miles. (Sigh..) now my wet shorts started to fall down from around my waist due to the constant pounding of running down hill.  I could feel them getting lower and lower. So I had to try and pull them up while running. I did the the RT – you know, the “run and tie”. That’s when you run and tie at the same time.

Well, as we continued to run, we knew we would have to save our strength – we could see far off in the distance thru the trees people scaling up the side of a mountain. Lord jeezuz help….They looked so little. How much further we got to do how much further!!? We’ve already been on this dag on course for what seemed like 6 miles!  People just walkin like they out for an afternoon stroll. I know how they feel!

We finally get to that vertical incline we saw in the distance. There was a huge wet, slippery log blocking our way that you had to pull yourself up and over. We did it…now time to climb – vertically. Without any rope.  Laaawwd jeeezuz help. You could solely use your legs, but here is where I tried to balance using upper and lower body strength.  Bear crawls really helped with this obstacle.  By the time I reached the top (seemed like forever), I could feel my glutes burning. Did I need a quick breather.  Yes! But, ummph we didn’t take one!  We pressed forward!

It started to level out, but we weren’t out of the woods just yet! We had to run more hills. Were did all of these hills and crevices come from???!

Ok, about 3-5 mins into the run, I had to walk a bit here. But the last portion of the hill I ran. At the top of the hill – water break. I needed it. I think I only took about a few sips..poured one cup over my head.

Next was balance and strength again. The Log Scoot.  Upper body strength required.  Men, be careful on these logs..uhm, yeah, be careful scootin’ on the logs and you know whyyyy. (little did we know there would be more of that coming!)

Next we had jumping over ditches – they were about 4ft deep and about 5feet apart with mounds of dirt you had to maneuver over, in between each ditch. There were about 7 total. One thing I do know – I can jump forever! So this one was easy for us.  Plyometrics, squat/box jumps, squats etc, helped with this one.

More running and another pond. This pond looked like a scene from a military movie where the soldiers were wading thru the swamp with cattails all around.  Yes, there were cattails in this pond.

Next, monkey bars.  Yeaaah! Another test of strength!  But these were not just your everyday type monkey bars. There was a deep pit of water and mud below, so don’t fall off!  The “bars” were pieces of wood. Slippery. Did I do it – yes!   Much upper body strength required.  Pull-ups and “hand walking” across an overhead bar, feet off the floor, helped me with this one.

Before the finish line we encountered one obstacle that you had to pull a 30lb bucket of concrete up 30ft and hit a bell. Different. The pulling motion, hand over hand; seated rows helped with this one.

Time to run some more…and oooh boy! What do we see ahead!

Back to back to back mud pits!! High walls of dirt/mud..slippery slides…awesome! This will be challenging.  I love it!

First we had to plank walk the tight rope. If you were short – good luck! I’m sure there was another one that could be used, though. Those planks and plank walks we do sure did come in handy for this one!

Here comes the muddy mounds and muddy pits. Wow! Excitement and mayhem to the tenth level! But no up and over by yourself – no sir’ree bob…not possible! Team work is needed here. At any position you are on these mounds, you are constantly pulling and pushing yourself and someone else up.

To conquer these mounds, you  have to form a “step” with your hands. One person steps into your hands so they can get onto the mound, then they grab a rope, or dig their hand into the dirt, then you have to push them up and they pull! They crawl to the top. At one point helping, I told the man and woman I ain’t getting fresh, but shoot, I had to push them from their butts!  I needed to get up and over too, one man returned the favor by pulling me up. Todd was a master at this-he would help as many people as he could get up/over.  Team work, baby!

You also had to strategize on some of the mud pits on how you would get out of it. There was more log scoots..people would slide down the mound and watch out! Or you would get knocked off! This happened to Dawn….bam!  They both fell into the water!  The man was nice enough to help her back up.  Sheer determination along with upper body/core strength needed here in the mud pits/mounds.

Well, we finally made it out of the pits.  We were surprised that we were finished! We crossed the finish line together in victory!

We thought this was a 3.5 mile course..but we are sure it was more like 5 miles..!

One thing is for sure they sure did map this course well!

You will need to be somewhat cardiovascularly fit, and have upper, lower body and core strength.

Here are some of the exercises that I did that I am sure helped me completed this Mud Ninja Extreme course:

  • Pull-ups
  • Pushups (all variations)
  • Lat pulldowns and Rows
  • Planks (walking planks)
  • Climbing
  • Hill/trail runs (for distance and endurance)
  • Bear crawls, Alligator walks and Tiger crawl
  • Squats and Squat/box jumps
  • Plyometrics
  • Lunges and Deadlifts

Well, I hope you enjoyed my commentary of my first Mud Ninja experience! I LOVE this challenging stuff..the mud, the camaraderie, etc.   Was it extreme – Yes. Will I do it again? Definitely!  Also, this challenge gave me the opportunity to face my fear (going thru the tunnel) and conquer it, thru a physical fitness event.  Will I go thru another tunnel at another event…hmmmm..can’t answer that at the moment!

It was good to participate in this event with friends, Todd and Dawn as well – they are beasts when it comes to fitness! And I appreciate them for supporting & encouraging me to get thru the tunnel. They could have ran ahead, but they waited. One thing that is sure sportsmanship is that we did not do this event for “time” we did it for fun and to say that we FINISHED. That’s what it’s all about- finishing.  Sure we could have saved alot of time by not helping others, but that’s not what we (I) do! We all finish.

In my age group I came in 3rd…WOW!  Overall I was finished 98th out of about 2000 people! Dawn finished first 1st in her age group and Todd finished 5th..but we all crossed the finish line together so I’m confused about  the times….oh well, no worries!  Overall, we had a great, great, great! time!

Funny thing..but we felt good that we were able to either do as well or better than most of the young’ens!  One lady shouted to me “well, look at you! Awesome” as I ran passed her up the last hill. I guess the gray in my goatee gave my age away?

I will be back hittin’ the trails again this week.  I wonder if the people who own the farm land would let me do some running out there? hmm..it’s a thought.

Plans are in the works to do the Tough Mudder in Pittsburgh, Pa..August 2013!  Yeah, that’s on my bucket list!

If you would like to view all of the pics my wife, Joy, took of the event, you can view them here:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3035488104926.100961.1794685569&type=1&l=6baeba2196

Oh! please click “like” on my fan page, too, and join!

Please leave me a comment!

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[blog] Is it an age thing?

August 22, 2011

What does age have to do with exercise?

Well, it has a lot to do with it. Some of it is logical of course, meaning it is somewhat unlikely for a 96 year run a mile at the same pace as someone in their 20’s.  Yes, that is logically thinking, but the flip side of that, is that it is a mindset as well.

Afterboot camp a few weeks ago, some of the campers stayed around and talked and one question came up about the “age” of someone who exercises and when they should stop.

The question was: “should I be doing some of these exercises at my age”?

This was an excellent question and my response was “you’re never too old to exercise”.  As I proceeded to explain the benefits and reasons of the importance of exercise in our later years, I also stated to the person that since you can do the exercises at your age should mean a lot!  The camper laughed and agreed.

We went on to discuss how some of the younger folks can not keep up with the “older” ones in the camp at times.  One camper suggested it was the mindset of those over 40 who tend to push thru things. Whereas, the younger ones seem to take a break, look around or say it’s too hard…..is this because this is a day and time of instant gratification without working for it?

 

I started to think about the other classes that I teach and the range of ages in the class. And it seems there was some credibility to that statement about mindset of those over 40.  Hmmm..do the ones over 40 really push a little harder to get thru it? And if so,why, and what is the motivation?  The challenges are there; and they meet and overcome them.

And it is true that you have to have a mindset change in order to live a healthy lifestyle.

As we continued to talk it seemed that the consensus was that if you are over 40, you seem to push thru it; no matter how difficult the challenge.

In no way  am I saying that the under 40 crowd who exercise are slackers or are not giving 100%, because I do know some under 40 who are go-getters and giver their all-n-all! What I’m saying is that there seems to be a difference when it comes to working out- younger vs. older.  And I guess this discussion could really go both ways.

   

So, what’s age got to do with it? 

I’d like to hear your take on this – both under and over 40.  is there some truth about what I’ve blogged about?  Let me hear from you!   Let me get about 15 comments and the next blog will have a workout for you.

“It May Be Your Body, But It’s Still God’s Temple” Part I

June 2, 2011

Hello, All!

I hope you are doing great today!

I am not sure if you know or not, but I like to look at things from many different perspectives and today, we will look at a different perspective on exercise and our body.  Some may like it, and some may not!

As a certified fitness professional, I had many books to help me study, and there are many books out there to choose from. I learned muscle groups, how the body functions and moves, how to properly execute a movement/exercise and the benefits of exercise, just to name a few.  But from a plethora of books to choose from, there was one book that was not included as part of my course work; and it has the blueprint of what we can do for our bodies to live a prosperous and healthy life – the Bible. The Bible even outlines how we should eat. (Have you seen the Ezekiel brand foods in the grocery store)?

As I mentioned in the blog last week, today is a guest blog post written by Pastor Wanda L. Sawyer-Flipping of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Rankin, Pennsylvania (about 8 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh); and some excerpts by me.  Not only is she my aunt, but she also knows and understands the importance of exercise and healthy living.  Here, Pastor Sawyer-Flipping tells us that our bodies are indeed, temples and gives us ways on how we should treat them as the scriptures dictate.

I will say that I have visited many churches, and this is the only church that I am aware of that starts its service with fitness tips and words of wisdom that is health related!   As a fitness professional, the sight and sound of what I was witnessing was phenomenal!  I know that our bodies are temples.  And as you read this blog post, think about your body as the “temple”.

Ok, enough from me! Let’s get to the guest blog post.  Here you are; Pastor Wanda Sawyer-Flipping…..

“It May Be Your Body, But It’s Still God’s Temple”

by Pastor Wanda L. Sawyer-Flipping

When we speak of the church, we are often referring to a building where we meet throughout the week and gather for worship. However, this building is not the church! It is a place where the church gathers. The church is that universal, mystical body made up of every person who has trusted Jesus Christ by faith and has been born into the family of God.

What we don’t understand is that you are the sanctuary of God.  The word “temple” in 1 Corinthians verse 19 refers not to the whole place of the temple, but just to the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelled. What Paul is trying to tell us is that we are the dwelling place of Almighty God.

Somehow, some people have the opinion that what we do to our body has no effect on us spiritually. The truth, however, is vastly different.  If you are in tune with God, everywhere you go, everything you do, everything you touches you, in effect, touches God.  That is why Paul tells the Corinthians that they (we) are Gods temples.  It appears that many people in the time of Paul at Corinth were using their bodies for immoral purposes and were defiling their temple.

When God gave His plans for the Tabernacle, and later on the Temple, He set forth in no uncertain terms the plain fact that He demanded purity in the materials and construction; otherwise, He would never fill it with His glory.

Five things to keep in mind regarding your body:

1.  God will not fill a dirty temple.    As I continue on, I would like for you to give some thought to how you are using your body to do things that aren’t  right in the sight of God, or in other words, aren’t benefiting your as God has intended.  There are a number of things, outside of sex, drugs, and alcohol that you can do with your body that displeases God.   What about lack of exercise and the types of food we put inside our bodies?

2. Our Bodies are a Place of Dedication.  The earthly Temple was a place wholly dedicated to God and His glory. Nothing that defiled was allowed on the grounds.  When something out of the ordinary occurred, God took immediate steps to take care of the problem. For instance, Nadad and Abihu, in Lev. 10:1-2, were the sons of Eleazar who offered up strange fire before the Lord and God killed them. It appears from the text in Lev. 10:8-11, that these men were guilty of drunkenness before the Lord. Be that as it may, the earthly temple was a place set apart for God and His glory.

These earthly bodies that we dwell in are also set apart for His glory! According to the bible, no one reading this has the right to use his/her body for anything other than that which glorifies the Lord. Why? Because we have been bought with a price.  Do something good for your body; that is a benefit of exercise; you are doing something good for your body.

3. We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to the Lord! So, regardless of what we are doing, and the reason we are doing it, it must  bring glory and honor to God.  Show God that we can take care of our bodies. We can make smart choices.

4. Our Bodies are a Place of Devotion.  The Temple was a place where men gathered to worship God. They came to the temple and glorified the Lord. It was a place where songs were sung, prayers were prayed, hands were raised, praises were rendered and God was magnified.  The temple was a place of worship.  Just as that temple was devoted to God as a place of worship, these bodies of ours are to be places where God is worshiped. The truth is, these bodies will render worship to one God or another!  As you can see, it was a commitment and they were consistent. We, too, must make the commitment and be consistent with exercise and sensible eating.

5. Our bodies are a place of duty.  The temple was a place where men carried out the duties they had been given by the Lord. These fleshly temples, our bodies, are also places where we are to carry out the duties we have been given by God. Treat them right.

Wow!  This is the end of Part I.

I thank you, Pastor, for sharing this with me, and willing to write this blog post.

I hope you enjoyed this perspective and/or were enlightened by reading this and it made you think of your “body” in a different way.

So with exercise, we are lining up our bodies to the word of God.  Our bodies are dedicated to Him, since they do not belong to us, and we want to present our bodies as living sacrifices; keeping our bodies as healthy as we possibly can.  We have a choice to either help with deteriorating our bodies by not being physically active,  eating a lot of the “bad” stuff, or we can chose to live healthy by eating right and exercising.  Show that you are good example to other by heeding to the word, exercising and building up your temple.

God does not want us killing ourselves. No, he wants us to retain ourselves and rein our bodies in. One thing to note is that if you do not control your body and its passions, it will control you. I’ve said this before, you also need to have a new mindset, a renewing of your mind.  Your body will do what your mind tells it.

If this blog is thought provoking, or conversational, please leave me a comment and tell me what you think! You know I like hearing from you!

I would like to get at least 60 comments within the next week or so about this post. If I get enough comments, I will go on to Part II!

Again, let’s get at least 60 comments to share with each other!  Leave a comment and rate this blog….or click “like”…

Committed to Your Fitness Success,

Sidney West

http://ebc-pgh.org  (website for Emmanuel Bapt. Church)

www.spiritualempowermentfitness.com

www.bodybysid.com

*@!#_?!*$%#! THE DEVIL IS A LIE!!

July 28, 2010

Hello, All….

I hope you are being wonderfully blessed today!  Below is a blog post I sent  almost 8 months ago and thought it would be good to send it again. 

When I first send this blog post, I had a about 44 people on the email list, and I got 169 opens and quite a few responses.   I have more on the list now, and would like to see if the thoughts have changed; have you done anything to help change the negative perception and improve the image of blacks and our exercise habits.  

I know we are portrayed negatively in many areas, but I want to focus on our health and well being.   I would really like to receive at least 100 comments!  Please read and let me know your thoughts!

Ok, the following statement is what I found on another blog.    It is regarding fitness and health for the African Americans.  What is your opinion of what this blogger states.  Read.

10-22-2008, 08:36 AM

Negroes will “preform” as directed “for profit” but very seldom will actually voluntarily burden themselves with the responsibility of developing and or controlling their own fitness or health.

Like the out dated farm equipment they actually were intended to be;they can be driven,but left to their own devices; will simply sit and rust in the fields.

Yes, the statement is crass, ignorant and quite racist.  At first I wanted to uhm,  well, never mind ( I had to turn the other cheek).. ….But think about it for a minute….does this statement hold any truth as it relates to our health and fitness?  

If you read this blog the first time I sent it, thank you, and let me know if you have any additional comments. 

 What do you have to say?

 Please leave me a comment!  ( I hope to get at least 100 by Friday)

And the survey says…..

January 29, 2010

Well, I hope you are enjoying this new year so far!

Some of you may or may not know, but I have been selected  by some of the top fitness experts in the industry to make an exercise DVD and to write a book to accompany it.  Glory to God! 

Psalms 37:23 reads: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  

This awesome blessing happened in October 2009, and the is giving me the desires of my heart.   I am forever grateful for that.

Now, here is the part that you can participate in!  I am getting ready to shoot the DVD and I would like to see what YOU would like see in it – exercise related.  So that is why I am doing the survey.

The DVD is to be ready this year; hopefully by the summer. 

 

There is a lot of time and hard work involved, but I know that the reward will be great! Especially if both the DVD and book are able to help someone make that lifestyle change to exercise and to eat better.  Let’s  live the way God wants us to live – prosperous and healthy!

Again, this is where you come in.   What would you like to see on the DVD?  Do you see any DVD’s out there that are spiritually based and have real church music to exercise to?  I know there are a few DVD’s out there…but  the goal is to make this different from those.

I have my ideas but would like to hear from others. 

So please tell me what specifics you would like to see in the DVD – in shape people? normal weight people,? overweight people  and/or  white people? Any specific exercises?   

Each and every post will be considered.   God has given me a gift to share I want this DVD to be for the people!  Please tell me your thoughts.   Let me know! I would love to hear from you!

 

this is on my mind…

December 21, 2009

Hello all

Hope you are well!  I was off for a week..but I’m back…and I have a question for you.

….do you want to feel beautiful?  Or handsome??  I think every person does, rite?

What do you do when you get up in the morning? You shower, shave, make sure your hair is rite (I know some women who will take a sick day of work if their hair ain’t together!). 

But in the morning, we “prepare” ourselves to go out in to the world.  We want to look our best.   Oh yes! The men shave, take the time to have on a belt that matches their shoes, tuck in the shirts and get ready to head to the office or wherever they work.   I know I do these things!  I even get my hair cut every week.

The women take time to put on their lipstick and makeup; put on perfume.  They check themselves in the mirror as they drive. Both – men and women, wanting to look good.  There is nothing wrong with that!

Even an overweight person feels they look good – they WANT to look good.  They want to feel good on the inside and out.  I am not against anything and people do what they want, but this is what I’m thinking…and I could very well be wrong.   But if there is an overweight person, man or woman, and they have taken the time to look their best, that means they love life so to say and they care about themselves.

Again, they WANT to look beautiful or handsome.  I don’t know why I am writing this, and where it is coming from! I am just typing…so bare with me!  So if they WANT to look good……again, they are wanting to look good,  so why do they put the BAD stuff inside their body?? 

 Their body is turning against them! Do they realize that? 

One blogger wrote during my first blog that “..I can remember eating the entire pack of chunky chips ahoy with no guilt.  Freely eating until my heart’s content (and artery clogging, hips spreading, etc…Jesus!).    This was just an excerpt, but this blogger went on to make a lifestyle  change and indicated it was well worth it.

So do the overweight people actually know what they are putting into their bodies?  They see the food or pop advertised on TV or hear it on the radio and they run out and buy it! Eat it, drink it and then want some more.  So is the media tricking us or persuading us as we become overweight as they rake in the money!!??   Hey! I have some good junk food over here! C’mon…it’s good for you.   (sigh…) we are all being lied to! Deceived I tell you! Deceived! 

Ok, I just got a butterfly in my stomach – I am starting to feel this thing.  I was supposed to do a video blog today, but as you see, the format of this blog has changed!  ( I guess this is why I do what I do – try to help people).

What is in the advertising? Is there a warning that says if you drink a pop you’ve exceeded your daily sugar requirement?  I don’t think there is.  What about some of the food.  Is there a warning label that states “if you eat this you will be lining your arteries waxy substances and you can bet your sweet tooty it will someday make you be dependent on medicine..!”   is there a food label out there like that?  Probably not.  

I was at dinner with two very close teacher friends  of mine yesterday and we got to talking about the childhood obesity epidemic.  Schools are now requiring that lunches have more healthier choices than the ‘junkier” choices and that students can select these healthier food items.   I thought that was very good. And now some schools are not going to have vending machines with candy bars, fruit drinks and the likes.  

Ok, so now we know we have healthy food. Junk foods.  And the really, really bad foods.  Are our bodies that messed up because of the poor food choices we made/make?  Yes.  We have eaten the bad stuff all of, or most of our lives.   And yet, we are still walking around – alive.  How can that be? only by the grace of God.  He has blessed us!

How much water do you drink?  How much splenda do you use? Hmmmm…how many cigarettes do you smoke?  How much pop or alcohol do you drink?  How much candy do you eat? 

So our bodies are messed up because of the food choices.  For me if i eat rite, I FEEL right.  If I eat something bad, my body can REALLY tell.   So can that be a reason why we have so much sickness?  Due to the things we eat?  u bet.

 So if you are reading this and are overweight, don’t be afraid, offended or discouraged!   Take small steps by changing your food choices!  That one step will lead to bigger and better!  Don’t procrastinate.  Take massive action. Do it now.  You want to be around for your kids, your grandkids and your family!  You can do it!  We can all begin by eating right and exercising!

As we prepare  or focus on making  ourselves beautiful or handsome on a daily basis, let’s propose to do the same with our food choices (include exercise).   Can we make a conscious effort to do that?

 Ok, I’m taking up waaaay too much of your time.  I will finish this up next week! 

Any comments?

Hey, is your pastor gaining weight!?

December 7, 2009

The pastor seems to be gaining weight –and are we, the congregation, doing it to him/her? Food. Food. Food. Bake pastor sweet potato pies, cake, cookies. Feed him/her at anniversary times, birthday time, any special church event, the pastor will go over to Deacon and sister Glackenbottom’s house after church for the Sunday feast. They eat…and eat…and eat…and it is a great fellowship!     

The pastor has gained weight. Are we, the congregation, part of this problem? Being a pastor, I am certain, is a very difficult job! They must socialize and a lot of that socializing seems to happen at the table. Come to the table and fellowship. And, since we are part of their flock, we tend to shower our pastors with gifts and foods many times throughout the year. We love them and we show it. If Sister Darlington bakes a pound cake, the pastor graciously accepts it.

The pastor is overweight. Are we, the congregation, part of this problem? Does the pastor get out of breath when preaching? They preach the Word hard.. sweat.. get tired…have they burned more calories during a sermon than they have consumed over the course of the day or the week? Perhaps not.

Many pastors may be experiencing high-blood pressure, sickness, diabetes, etc…is it hereditary, or are we, the congregation,  part of the problem? I wonder if the pastors are aware of what they eat (and lack of exercise) could be causing health problems. Or, if they have a doctor’s recommendation to lose weight and/or change eating habits and exercise but just haven’t done it.

Are there any physically fit pastors out there? If there are, they may the exception to the rule.

Do we see more overweight pastors in the pulpit? Do they have visceral fat (the dangerous fat around the belly area)?

Our pastors are gaining weight. Are we, the congregation, part of the problem?

From the paragraphs above, which one, if any, can you relate to: My pastor seems to be gaining weight, my pastor has gained weight, my pastor is overweight?

What are your thoughts?

losing weight is too dag on hard!

November 30, 2009

Hey all, this is part three of my  blog!

Thank you to all who participated in replying!  Also, if you look to the right, if you want to get this automatic updates on the blog, click “sign me up”. 

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and you enjoyed the time with family and friends.

For today’s Let’s Talk Church blog, I would like to  discuss methods you have tried for weight loss – for those who have actively tried to lose weight and did not have any success, little success and those who’ve had success  keeping the weight off. 

If you were not too successful in your weight loss program did you experience any of the following:

  • there are habits that seem just too dag on hard to break?
  • your friends/family always have foods around that you KNOW aren’t good for you to eat,  but you eat it anyway because you gave in to temptation? (and now we are in the holiday season)
  • Is the commitment to eat right and exercise just not there? 
  • you exercise very sporadically – one day, then the next time you exercise a month has passed!
  • You don’t see results as quickly as you hoped so you give up? 

 What about “I’m too busy”, “I don’t have time. work, family, kids”, “other activities interfere”  oh! and…..what about church activities??  Is there anyone who has a very busy church and you spend most of the week there?

Did you answer “yes” to any of the above?

If you answered “yes” you are not alone.  As a fitness professional I see and hear things of this nature a lot.  People come to me and say I just can’t seem to lose the weight.  “I eat rite, and I exercise. I’ve tried everything”.  But as we get deeper into the conversation,  I uncover challenges sometimes that the person did not realize where things that hindered their program and the progress.  But saying “I’m too busy”, “no time”, “work, kids, family”, “I’m tired”, “other activities”,  “taking care of the house”, etc (the list can go on) are really excuses

Yep, sorry to say, but they are excuses. Maybe not valid ones, but excuses nevertheless. 

So don’t let excuses hinder your goals to exercise and drop those unwanted pounds. 

So what do you do? You have to PLAN. I believe we can all say we have pretty busy schedules.  But planning is the key.  We plan and schedule time for meetings and other activities and events.  Why not schedule time for exercise? And don’t get discouraged if the weight isn’t falling off as quickly as you hoped.  Remember; no time for exercise, make time for illness.

 Ok, I’d like to hear from you. 

What have you done to try and lose weight? Did you keep it off? If so, what worked? 

If you did not keep it off, what methods did you try and how long did you try before you gave up – 3 weeks, a month?   

Did you only exercise on Sunday when you shouted or ran around the church!?  hmmmm

So, let’s talk about what you’ve tried to do to try and lose weight.  (dvd, exercise class, etc)

Hey, what are you – and the congregation – eating??!

November 23, 2009

Thank you for reading/responding to my last blog!  This is PART II.

We talked about lack of exercise in the black church…now let’s talk about what we EAT! yeah, what we eat…in church….and outside of church. Phew! I think we can all relate….

Ok, why are most church functions centered around food???  It seems that the black church cannot fellowship without having some type of food involved.  Is it because the bible references many feasts that were held?  The story of the prodigal son, and of course the Last Supper.  hmmmm….

 Now don’t get me wrong, I like to eat, too, but why does it have to be many of the foods that aren’t necessarily good for you – or should I say not prepared in a healthy way? For example: fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried fish (always something fried!) , macaroni and cheese with 19 different types of cheeses in it lol! oh!  and don’t forget the deserts – now don’t get me wrong again, we do eat those things, but I am an strong advocate of eating those type of foods in moderation.

Moderation is key. Don’t eat them all the time…. not every week…not every day. I understand the transition to eating right takes time and will not happen overnight. When I’m asked what is a bad food a person should avoid, I generally say food you’re allergic to, moldy food, poisonous food! So again, moderation is key.

When people come in to talk to me about nutrition, I often say this to them: “what you put [eat] in the inside, shows on the outside”. So we can see if you’re eating the not-so-good stuff. 

If you sit in front of the TV with a pop and chips on a regular basis, it will show. What about eating a whole pizza, pizza bread, wings, chips and a liter of pop – by yourself?  lord hammercy. Yes, eventually that will show, too. The greasy foods – clogging the arteries. 

 So what are you saying, Sidney? What I’m saying is that we consume waaay too many calories in a day of the not-so-good stuff. And just as the right foods can be powerfully health protective, the wrong foods can be powerfully bad for your health. Eating excessive portions of foods filled with saturated fats and the sugars (refined) can lead to obesity, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, kidney failure, diabetes and other illness associated with excessive eating. Why do you need to drink all that pop? …. and kool-aid…this is funny, but I think all black families had kool-aid packets in that one drawer in the kitchen that had “everything” in it! You know what drawer I’m talkin’ about! We make the kool-aid and by the time we think it tastes just right to serve, we have put 62 scoops of sugar in it! So in essence we are drinking syrup!

Now I have a question.  What type of foods does your church serve for events? Is it mainly fried? Or do they opt for foods prepared in a healthy way? (it can still taste good! Healthy cooking does not have to be bland) Baked chicken works, whole wheat mac & cheese is good…and fish (don’t fry it tho)!  Just a little  note on fish. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids. This is the special polyunsaturated fat found in fish oil and it helps block many harmful biochemical reactions that can cause blood to clot. Secondly, research has found that fish my ward against not only heart disease but hypertension (mentioned earlier), cancer, arthritis and who know what else! Fish twice a week is recommended.

I have made light fun of some of the stuff on this blog, but seriously if we can focus our eating based on wholesome grains, more fruits and vegetables, dried beans, lean proteins, nuts, low-fat dairy – in addition to an active lifestyle – we can really invest in optimal health! Can you be the one who can ask your church if they can make an effort to keep health in mind when church events involve food? Healthy choices make healthy bodies.   What does the scriptures tell us?

I’d like to hear from you and what you think! We are now in the holiday season….what will you be eating….?

Exercise and the African American Church

November 16, 2009

Hey i need your opinion!…this will be a series of posts.  This first one is about exercise. 

What do you guys think about the lack of exercise regarding the African American community? Better yet, let me drill down even further, let’s take this question into the church!  From state to state there are African American churches – some with large congregations- that have gym facilities but many of the gyms have little use or sit idle.  So access to exercise is there for the people, but not taken full advantage of, it seems.  And, it doesnt even have to be a gym located at the church; exercise can pratically be done anywhere.   group

So what is your opinion as to why many of the saints who attend the black church do not exercise?  The benefits of exercise are great!  There are many members in the Body of Christ under attack with sickness and disease.  Doctors may have even prescribed exercise as medicine for some! The statistics are very alarming (in a bad way) when compared to our caucasian brothers and sisters regarding health and fitness.  Nope, the stats ain’t good at all.  The bible provides scriptures that tell us that exercise is good for us; yet we all don’t do it.  hmmm…can exercise help you shout longer???  Ok, that’s a topic for another blog post!

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…so again, within the black church, for those members who can, there is little exercise done (excluding the elderly).  I have my ideas as to why, but why do you think that is? Would really like to hear from you!

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