First Love FITNESS – Week Three

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 69 comments

IMG_1845First of all, God is awesome. Yesterday morning, as I was about to leave home and head to church for First Love FITNESS, I felt an urgency to pray for any of the ladies in my class who might, for whatever reason, be considering not going to class that day. I dropped to my knees on the stairs I was ascending and asked God to please touch the ladies HE wanted in class–to in His own way direct them to come. You can imagine my delight when, about an hour later–after class had started–one woman shared in front of everyone that she’d been considering not coming to class that morning. She’d wanted to have her own quiet time with the Lord, but then sensed He wanted her to come to First Love FITNESS, so she did.

I smiled and felt chills all over my body. God works in mysterious ways, and although they are higher than I can understand, it gives me such joy when I sense I’ve been even a teensy-tiny part of His “work” in this world.

Week Three’s Lesson was on “Filling Up with Good Things.” My “Coach’s Tip” was that it’s much healthier to eat five or six small “meals” a day–every two to three hours–than to consume two or three larger ones. And please make absolutely, positively sure you eat breakfast! Ideally, every “meal” should contain protein and good, complex carbohydrates: protein keeps you feeling full longer, and the healthy carbohydrates regulate your blood sugar and give you energy. The greater frequency of eating keeps your metabolism going, not slowing!

I gave the girls a list of my First Love FITNESS “Favorite Foods.” Proteins were mentioned in Week Two’s blog post, but following are some of my favorite sources of carbohydrates: fresh baby spinach, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts; berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries); old-fashioned or steel-cut oats (not the instant kind with sugar added!); red and yellow bell peppers; apples (Granny Smith the best), pears, red grapes, bananas; tomatoes (fresh or canned); sweet potatoes; beans (black, pinto, garbanzo); brown rice and couscous; 100% whole grain, 100% whole wheat bread. (Because of today’s widespread gluten issues, bread is a subject requiring greater discussion–which we’ll hopefully cover in a future lesson:).

Lately I’ve also been enjoying two new carbs in my diet: a “fit” popcorn made in extra-virgin olive oil and whole grain fig newtons. (We’ll be covering “sweet treats” in a future lesson, as well.)

Of course we’ll be healthier if we not only fill ourselves with the good, but also rid ourselves of the bad. My First Love FITNESS “Forgettable Foods” are anything made with white sugar or white flour; any kind of white pasta; anything with high fructose corn syrup listed as a primary ingredient; muffins, doughnuts, pastries; French fries, potato chips and anything fried or deep-fried (often described as “crispy” on restaurant menus); mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, high-fat salad dressings, cream sauces; high-fat cheeses; fatty meats such as sausage, bacon, hot dogs; sodas and most juices.

Examples of healthy protein and carbohydrate combinations would be nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese and berries; scrambled eggs with spinach; salmon with asparagus and couscous; chicken with broccoli and brown rice; oatmeal and a protein shake; an almond butter and honey sandwich; hummus and sweet red pepper; apple slices with reduced fat cheese. The list could go on and on… the key is finding combinations YOU enjoy and filling your daily diet with them.

Spiritually speaking, we’ll be most fit if we do the same. I wouldn’t be able to exaggerate how important my spiritual “diet” of prayer, reading the Bible, listening to and singing praise and worship music, going to church and hearing the Word of God preached, and fellowshipping with other believers is to my overall health and well-being. On my own I am weak; filling myself with spiritually good things gives me strength.

And just like with physical fitness, filling ourselves with the spiritually good is going to be all the more meaningful if we also rid ourselves of the bad. I encouraged the ladies in my class to be thinking this week about influences in their lives that detract from their spiritual health. It could be a person, a television show, a magazine, a drug, an unhealthy way we spend our time, just to name a few. I encourage us all to do the same.

Our memory verse for this week is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20… “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Additional scriptures you may want to ponder are Psalm 63:1; Isaiah 1:18; Romans 15:13; Matthew 23:25-28; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 4:31, 17:11; Colossians 3:16; Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 3:16-21, 4:31-32; and 1 Peter 2:1-3.

Of course the most important way we could ever fill ourselves is with Jesus–by asking Him into our heart, to dwell within us by faith. In doing so, we invite Him to start transforming us from the inside out. If you’ve never done so, I encourage you to right now! Just say, “Jesus, I don’t understand everything, but I want to take a step of faith and invite you into my heart and life. I’ve tried to do things my own way for too long, and it hasn’t worked. I’ve made a mess of things, and I need Your help. Please forgive me for every single thing I’ve ever done wrong or that has dishonored You. I want You to be the Lord and Savior of my life. Please help me follow You and grow closer to You. Amen.”

If you just said these words, I encourage you to tell someone who also follows Jesus. I’d love for you to tell me! I would be so excited for you and would pray for you. Some more scriptures for you to “taste” and enjoy: Revelation 3:20, 22:17; 1 John 4:13-16; Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6, 5:17; and Romans 10:9-10.

Our workout circuit consisted of a varied, walking warm-up, BOSU ball push-ups, standing squats, “Point to heaven” abdominals, military presses with dumbbells, hamstring curls with a fit ball, “Flutter like an Angel” abdominals, jumping rope, butt blasters, and lateral dumbbell “pull-ups.” The ladies worked hard and did GREAT!

This week’s “Good News” reading schedule is as follows: Friday – Matthew 26; Saturday – Matthew 27 & 28; Sunday – Mark 1; Monday – Mark 2 & 3; Tuesday – Mark 4; Wednesday – Mark 5; and Thursday – Mark 6.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Thank you for reading, and happy training!


  1. I noticed the other fitness class at church incorporated yoga postures. I was wondering if you did as well? Thanks, Nancy

    • Thanks for writing, Nancy… I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. No, I do not incorporate yoga into First Love FITNESS at all. Our physical fitness focus is on strength training and cardiovascular workouts. Blessings!

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