pharoah

Agreement Isn't Enough

"But Moses said to God, 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'"  --Exodus 3:11

Read: Exodus 3

I wonder if Moses ever went back to the place of the burning bush. Oh, I know it's doubtful, but for one of the pillars of our faith, that spot was a pivotal point in his life (not to mention for yours and mine). But Moses didn't just agree there. He didn't concur with some sophisticated nod like he was looking at some priceless work of art. "Hmm, yes indeed." No, his body had to get him where his soul had to go. A simple agreement wasn't enough. And so with ash still on his sandals, he marched through Pharaoh's front door to prove it.

What about you? Do you remember when you were called to your task? For me, my soul was called in the eighth grade, then again in 2007 to create PrayFit. For you, maybe it was 10 years ago, or maybe even 10 minutes. But regardless, agreement isn't enough, especially when it comes to our health. Like it was for Moses, agreement is just the opportunity to prove it. So go back with him. Get close to the flame. Hear it crackle. Rub your hands together and get warm. You have your own Pharaohs to face. Obesity? Heart disease? A better example for your kids? Perhaps for your congregation? Pharaohs all. And as you march through those doors, let the ash on your sandals be a reminder that agreement isn't enough.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION: The Perfect Breakfast

There are a lot of strong options for your breakfast table in the morning. But when it comes to starting your day, you don’t want to tinker with anything that is less-than-effective at fueling you up right.

>> Click here for the perfect morning combo!

A Sea of Obstacles

"But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left." --Exodus 14:29

Read: Exodus 14

If you've been following us on PrayFit, I know it seems we spend a lot of time the desert, but let's rewind the tape. Moses was reluctant, but he led the Israelites out of bondage, motivated and on their way. Then came the Red Sea. Uhh...Moses?

The reason we're stopping here at the banks is because we receive countless e-mails expressing gratitude for the motivation, but there are all sorts of barriers that prevent activity. The workout of the week was too challenging, time constraints, bad sleep...the list of valid reasons goes on. Can you relate? While you feel encouraged, you often face an immediate impasse. Well, with water up to his knees, and Pharaoh breathing down his back, Moses could relate to you and me. We've got health issues chasing us but seemingly impossible challenges blocking our escape.

Friends, we have to remember that it's not about a particular workout or routine, but rather it's whatever you can do, enjoy doing, and can strive to improve upon from one day to the next. For some, that means a brisk walk around the block, for others it's pumping iron at the local gym. Truth is, we all have our own personal seas to cross, so stay encouraged. God is able, so stay available. No matter how you got to the water or how you plan to get to the other side, it's not impossible...the sea is crossable.

--Jimmy Peña

DID YOU KNOW?

"Researchers find that even a relatively small loss of weight can have a significant benefit in blood sugar control, regardless of how you lose the weight."

--Andrew J. Ahmann, M.D., medical director of the Oregon Health and Science University Diabetics Center

Source: "Sugar Nation" by Jeff O'Connell

Agreement Isn't Enough

"But Moses said to God, 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'"  --Exodus 3:11

Read: Exodus 3

I wonder if Moses ever went back to the place of the burning bush. Oh, I know it's doubtful, but for one of the pillars of our faith, that spot was a pivotal point in his life (not to mention for yours and mine). But Moses didn't just agree there. He didn't concur with some sophisticated nod like he was looking at some priceless work of art. "Hmm, yes indeed." No, his body had to get him where his soul had to go. A simple agreement wasn't enough. And so with ashes still on his sandals, he marched through Pharaoh's front door to prove it.

What about you? Do you remember when you were called to your task? For me, my soul was called in the eighth grade, then again in 2007 to create Prayfit. For you, maybe it was 10 years ago, or maybe even 10 minutes. But regardless, agreement isn't enough, especially when it comes to our health. Agreement is just the opportunity to prove it. So go back with Moses. Get close to the flame. Hear it crackle. Rub your hands together and get warm. You have your own Pharaohs to face. Obesity? Heart disease? A better example for your kids? Pharaohs all. And when you decide to blast through Pharaoh's doors, imagine God as He nods at you like a priceless work of art...because you are.

--Jimmy Peña

EXERCISE IN FOCUS: Bodyweight Squat

Have you tried our workout of the week, affectionately dubbed The Gideon? Click here to refresh your memory. This routine centers around the squat. So today, a refresher on this fundamental move.

Focus: Quads, glutes, hamstrings Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, a light bend in your knees and your toes turned out slightly. Keeping your head neutral, abs tight and torso erect, bend at the knees and hips to slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit down in a chair. Pause when your legs reach a 90-degree angle, then forcefully drive through your heels, extending at your hips and knees until you arrive at the standing position.

>> VIDEO: Bodyweight Squat >> For more exercise descriptions and videos, click here.

PURPOSE OVER PROCESS

October 31, 2011Read: 2 Corinthians 4

"What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever." --2 Corinthians 4:18

There’s an old story about a pharaoh whose young wife died far too soon. In his grief, he ordered his wife’s tomb to be built lavishly. No expense was too great for the monument. Each time he’d survey the construction site, he’d order more jewels and more gold - - "Bigger! Higher!" His wife’s tomb became his obsession.

One day, as he proudly surveyed his masterpiece, the pharaoh tripped over a box along the perimeter. Embarrassed, he ordered the removal of all the trash. What he didn’t realize was that along with all the rubbish, he’d ordered the removal of his wife’s coffin. See, he was so caught up in the process that he forgot about the purpose.

I was reminded of that story while watching the movie “Up in the Air.” George Clooney played a man whose life was all about the journey. He lived for the process. Flight status boards, frequent flyer miles and hotel key cards were the trophies of his trade. Link enough of yesterday’s trips together with tomorrow’s, and sooner or later, you’ve got yourself a life.

But this week, let’s focus less on our man-made monuments and more on the One who matters. Our lives gain meaning when our purpose is revealed. Remember, Jesus is our destination. Everything else is just a first-class ticket to nowhere.

–J.P.

Firm Believer: How can you add true meaning to your life in the area of health? What will you commit to the Lord this week in honor of your purpose on earth?

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 3 MILES Time to hit the road (or treadmill). Whether you choose to slow walk, fast walk, jog or run,  three miles is the goal. This could be the start of a new habit or you have a time to beat, keep good track of your time. In a couple of days, your goal will be to do the same three-mile route in slightly less time. Simple. Effective. Go the distance, literally.

PRAYFIT NEWS: Three miles is a great place to start but in a little less than a week, PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena will be among the field of over 40,000 runners toeing the start line at the ING New York City Marathon. Though it's his first foray into distance running, his goal as he snakes his way through the five boroughs will be the same as it is every time he sets foot in the gym: to honor the One who gave him the ability to do it in the first place. Visit next week for a first-person recap of Pena's first-ever 26.2.

AGREEMENT ISN'T ENOUGH

October 4, 2011Read: Exodus 3

"But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" --Exodus 3:11

I wonder if Moses ever went back to the place of the burning bush. Oh, I know it's doubtful, but for one of the pillars of our faith, that spot was a pivotal point in his life, and for yours and mine. But he didn't just agree there. He didn't concur with a sophisticated nod like he was looking at some priceless work of art. No, his body had to get him where his soul had to go. A simple agreement wasn't enough. And so with ashes still on his sandals, he marched through Pharaoh's front door to prove it.

What about you? Do you remember when you were called to task? For me, my soul was called in the 8th grade, then again in 2007 to blend faith with fitness. For you, maybe it was 10 years ago, or maybe even 10 minutes. But regardless, agreement isn't enough, especially when it comes to our health. Agreement is just the opportunity to prove it. So go back with Moses. Get close to the flame. Rub your hands together and get warm. You have your own Pharaohs to face. And when you do, imagine God as He nods, looking at you like a priceless work of art...because you are.

--J.P.

NUTRITION Q&A Addressing reader questions from the PrayFit inbox

Q: I noticed that on page 225 of the book "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days," there is a note to "add artificial sweetener if desired." Isn't that contrary to good health as artificial sweetener's are relatively "poison" and is a contributor to the obesity crisis?  Shouldn't you be recommending honey or stevia?

--Mo, via e-mail

A: Honey provides fructose, which is fine is small amounts but honey is known to cause numerous health problems. Stevia is a pretty good alternative for sweeteners, but it too has research showing some concerns over its safety. The research on artificial sweeteners concludes that they are safe when used in moderation. My personal stance is to avoid these chemicals. However, we realize that some people do need a "sweet treat" every once in a while and we wanted to make the diet tolerable for them. If a diet is too limited in the foods you can eat most people will not stay on the diet. The PrayFit nutrition plan we developed was designed to help people create a lifestyle out of healthy eating, rather than giving a quick fix solution.

--Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days"

>> Got a question for the PrayFit team? Send it to info@prayfit.com, or post it in our forums.

>> WATCH: Click on the player below for a peek at the official trailer for the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge by Lionsgate, due out December 6!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3k7_WPk5LU

FEAR LIES AHEAD

August 5, 2011Read: Exodus 14

"It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” --Exodus 14:12

Before the Israelites crossed into the promised land, they found themselves in no man's land. They were in the middle of the harshest desert in the world, after all. They had long since left the paradoxical security of pharoah's bondage where, despite being in captivity, they were provided food, water and accommodations at night. Their GPS? The footsteps of a stuttering man and his brother.

Walking aimlessly day after day under the punishing African sun, survival instinct began to wash over them. Hunger, thirst, frustration and fear had started to erode the already tenuous faith that they had placed in Moses and Aaron. But they were stuck. Both before them and behind them lie vast, hopeless stretches of scorching hot sand, with nary a nibble of food or a drop of water in sight. What to do?

Then Moses laid it out: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When we find ourselves wandering in the desert, we'd be well served by continuing boldly on the course that He's set for us. If we do, thirsting only for the water that gives life, reaching the sand's horizon will be eternally more rewarding. Moses assured the Israelites that even though fear lies ahead, God lives above. How's that for a compass?

--E.V.

PRAYFIT NUTRITION Q&A

Q: How can drinks be zero calorie? Doesn't everything take energy to be digested by your body and wouldn't that make these beverages inherently caloric?

A: Since these types of beverages are mostly water (plus artificial sweeteners, which are chemicals), they contain virtually no calories. Water is absorbed by most cells by simple diffusion and similar pathways that do not require energy so the calorie expediture is considered negligible. The effects that the chemicals may have will vary depending on the type, but do not have much to do with caloric intake or expenditure.

>> DID YOU KNOW? Research shows that people may over-rely on diet drinks, consuming more calories than usual because of the perceived caloric deficit. Temper your consumption of these beverages, instead getting the bulk of your fluid from water. Aim to consume about half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. A 160-pound person should aim for around 80 ounces from sun-up to lights out.

PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

 

PURPOSE OVER PROCESS

September 20, 2010Read: 2 Corinthians 4

"What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever." --2 Corinthians 4:18

There’s an old story about a pharaoh whose young wife died far too soon. In his grief, he ordered his wife’s tomb to be built lavishly. No expense was too great for the monument. Each time he’d survey the construction site, he’d order more jewels and more gold - - Bigger! Higher! His wife’s tomb became his obsession.

One day, as he proudly surveyed his masterpiece, the pharaoh tripped over a box along the perimeter. Embarrassed, he ordered the removal of all the trash. What he didn’t realize was that along with all the rubbish, he’d ordered the removal of his wife’s coffin. See, he was so caught up in the process that he forgot about the purpose.

I was reminded of that story while watching the movie “Up in the Air.” George Clooney played a man whose life was all about the journey. He lived for the process. Flight status boards, frequent flyer miles and hotel key cards were the trophies of his trade. Link enough of yesterday’s trips together with tomorrow’s, and sooner or later, you’ve got yourself a life.

But this week, let’s focus less on our man-made monuments and more on the one who matters. Like John the Baptist, leaping in his mother's womb, to Paul on the road to Damascus, our lives gain meaning when our purpose is revealed. Remember, Jesus is our destination. Everything else is just a first-class ticket to nowhere.

–J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Legs

Of all of the training days you can spend in the gym, leg day may be the most important. Whether or not you "need" better, stronger legs, training them -- again, think purpose -- on a regular basis can help you change your body, all over, for the better.

If you're a beginner or you're coming back from an injury or layoff, this workout is for you. As your muscles strengthen and get accustomed to weight training, you can move on to more challenging free weight moves and intermediate-level workouts, but it’s important to build a solid base first to optimize success later.

Exercise                                              Sets     Reps Horizontal Leg-Press Machine            2          12, 15 Leg Extension                                         2          12, 15 Lying Leg Curl                                         2          12, 15 Standing Calf Raise                               2          To failure

>> WIN! If you haven't started a PrayFit Workout Journal already, now's the time. The next 10 people to start (and keep) their journal with us will win a free PrayFit wristband.