Friday, April 25, 2014

Fit Friday: Gut & Glutes Tabata

Today's fit tip was inspired when my cousin asked me for a quick core workout she could do postpartum.  My first thought was Tabata because it's very short(4 minutes to be exact) but still just as intense as going for a 30 minute run. Because you only work for 20 seconds at a time you can push harder than normal than get a 10 second recovery before you go again.  This short duration, but high intensity interval training (HIIT) creates a prolonged afterburn, or EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption). This type of training causes the body to take longer to return to its state of rest, so it continues to burn calories (5x more) at a higher rate long after the workout session has completed.

I recommend downloading the free Tabata Timer app on your phone.  You will be doing 8 rounds total with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.  In the first video below I explain what a tabata is and some sample exercises for the core(gut). The second video is some more core options plus some bonus legs(glutes) exercises.  Have fun! :)

Don't forget in order to be physically fit you must first be spiritually fit.  My challenge to you is to find a scripture that speaks to you and meditate on it until you know it by heart.

Today's power verse: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint."
 Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Be YOUR Color!

As I mentioned in my post about why I started this blog(you can read more about that here) I have been part of a class at my church that gave us a new assignment each week. One week we were told to write a devotional(had to be less than 300 words) then share it with someone.  If you have never done anything like this before, I highly encourage trying it!  I pray this devotional encourages you today!

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NLT)

Did you know the numbers of color combinations in the world are endless? This is because color is affected by the amount of lighting, other colors in the picture and even the person viewing the colors. Can you imagine how boring and dull our world would look if God had created only one color? 

One afternoon as I was having my quiet time and sharing my insecurities to the Lord He gave me an idea to ask my daughters, ages 4 & 6, to color pictures. One picture I instructed them to color all one color and the other picture they could use as many colors as they wanted.  He showed me that He created us all unique and assigned us a special color, or purpose, that only we can fulfill.  When we compare our bodies, gifts, talents, careers, passions and more to others and try to be their “color” then we are missing the call on our lives and failing to display God’s true beauty to the world. 

As Genesis 1:27 tells us, we were created in the image of God.  What color did God create you to be that is a reflection of Him?

Pray:  Dear God, thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made for a unique purpose that only I can fulfill. Please forgive me for comparing myself to others. Show me how to use my color to paint a beautiful masterpiece that only you can fulfill. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Life Outside the Shell?

I am not a writer.  Have you ever said something so many times that you believe it with your whole heart and reject any opportunities that come your way?  That has been me when it comes to writing. The thought of writing makes my heart race.  So why am I starting the blog and what's with the name "Life Outside the Shell"?  Allow me to explain :)

I attend Gateway Church in Southlake, TX and over the years have been given the opportunity to take some of their amazing classes. One that I am currently in is called WILD(Women in Leadership Development).  The name alone made my heart skip a beat and when we got our "Class Syllabus" at the beginning of the six weeks and I realized I had to speak and/or write at EVERY class for the next six weeks I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there.  Everything within me said "RUN!  Tell me them your kid is sick, say you have a business emergency...but whatever you do, do NOT do this!"  This may sound a bit extreme to some but for me the idea of running from anything that makes me feel uncomfortable used to be my way of life and if I'm not careful it rears it's ugly head when I'm asked to do something outside the norm. I decided to stick it out and wow and I am grateful that I did.  We had to do the Strengths Finders test, spiritual gifts tests, write a devotional(which I will post mine in a later blog) and do a final project(part of it for me is starting this blog!)  In the end I discovered I want to do one thing so badly that my heart jumps for joy when I get to do it...pull women out of their shells. 

 From the quiet introvert who tries to blend in like a wall flower to the loud extrovert who stays so busy we all have one thing in common and that is to run from our God given calling.  Some of us were born in a "shell" while others have been driven into a shell due to life circumstances and trauma. Either way, God wants to pull us out. If you are a believer than you have the Lion of Judah living on the inside of's time to release that lion!

Let me make something very clear.  I still get very nervous(like the kind of nervous that makes you have to go to the bathroom several times before speaking in front of a group) when asked to do something outside of my comfort zone. But the old Rachael would retreat into a "shell" and hide until whoever asked me to do "said thing" had passed by and found someone else to do it.  The new Rachael that has allowed God to do a mighty work within me that only HE can do still gets nervous but faces that fear head on and does it anyway.  One of my favorite quotes that I keep on my mirror is "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." 

The Lord has used many people in my life to "pull me out of my shell" and my husband is one of them. Years ago he encouraged me to start teaching group fitness classes. Let's just say before I taught my first one I couldn't eat all week, I recited my routine so many times I could say it in my sleep and I arrived an hour early to set-up class and allow plenty of time for bathroom breaks before class started:)  I actually became known as one of the toughest instructors in the gym...what the members didn't know was that I was so tough because I wanted them to be gasping for air so badly that they wouldn't look at me(true story). :)  But now?  Now I speak in front of hundreds at Chamber meetings, I lead life groups, I speak at lunch & learns at businesses, and I even filmed a video of me teaching a class LIVE in order to pass a new instructor certification!  I tell you this to say that if God can pull ME out of my shell than he can pull anyone out of their shell.

Won't you please join me as I share stories of faith, fitness and family and how God has used all those things to get me to get out of my shell and JUST MOVE.  All He asks us to do is put one foot in front of the other and He will do the rest.  God has amazing plans for each and every one of us as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for YOU declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans for hope and a future."

Trust the one who made you, He knows what He is doing! ;)

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but power, love and self-discipline." 
2 Tim. 1:7