Posts tagged Encouragement
Scripture of the Day:”What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:23
You don’t have to be completely convinced you can do the impossible, but you do need to believe anything’s possible – but only if you try. The impossible doesn’t just happen on it’s own, without faith and at least an attempt to try.
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult task? No. A gymnast will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and back flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, one small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a regular push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form), each time they practice it.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they can’t fathom what is possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN’T do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Too many people let their past failures define them. They dieted before and failed, so they believe they are doomed to never lose weight. They joined a gym before and quit going, so they fear they’ll just waste their money again the next time. They have a tendency to be lazy, selfish, and lack self control, so they fear they will always be lazy, selfish and lack self control. This type of thinking uses past failures to sabotage tomorrow’s successes.
My grandmother once quoted Barbara Johnson, an encouraging author known for helping women have hope and joy in discouraging times, saying, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Focusing on past failures causes us to worry about continuing to be a failure, and Barbara reminds us worrying wastes time and interferes with tomorrow’s opportunities.
Free From Failure
What we think about is a choice. We have the choice to think about all the mistakes we’ve made, and what mistakes we could make in the future OR we can think about changing our actions, breaking the cycle, becoming the person we want to be, learning from our mistakes and succeeding. Sure, it’s easy to look at the facts. Believe me, I know about failure. I remember paying for a gym membership for 2 years and never going. Did that stop me from joining a gym again? No. The next time I went a little more than the first. I continued to join gyms until I found the one that kept me going, and I learned to make working out a part of my life, and not an option.
Of course, this is just one type of failure. There are much worse failures than just wasting a gym membership or quitting a diet. However, the application applies to all failures. Just the same way you can list off all the good reasons you’re sure you could fail again (where statistics could help prove your point), I can shoot off some statistics of my own that prove you could succeed.
Aim for Success
I have countless encounters with people who have never had weight loss success who joined our gym, or did a boot camp, and got the results they wanted after many failed attempts. I could remind you of all the failed relationships who decided to never give up and who made it – stronger and better than they ever hoped. We can look at all the countless men and women in history that led lives of failure, but are remembered for their great successes because they didn’t let their failures define them or stop them from continuing to try to become a success.
No matter what your struggle is today, decide now to accept your failures as HISTORY. You can be a failure yesterday and be a success today. Be a success for several days in a row, and before you know it you ARE a success.
No matter how bad you were on Thanksgiving, no matter how much you’ve let your workouts slip, no matter how many poor mistakes you’ve made with your finances or relationships, decide to stop making the mistakes that haunt you, decide to think about the possibilities if you succeed, and and decide to make this week a successful week!
What if he quit trying?
“This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.”
This man was Abraham Lincoln.
“I have failed over and over, and that is why I succeed” Abraham Lincoln.
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I’ve been off my “diet” (AKA: Eating clean) for a month or so now. We’ve been staying pretty strict over the last year and wanted to take a break, and just have a little fun. (That even just sounds dumb already! Like we can’t have fun without a burger and ice cream?) Anyway, our plan was to start dieting again after July 4th. Monday, July 7th was the day to kick it back into high gear – but seriously, I just couldn’t wait. I couldn’t stand how I felt one more second!
I was so sick of feeling crappy, flabby and lazy. I had it up to my eyeballs in high-calorie food. 80% of the food I ordered I didn’t even really like that much. It was like I was on the search for something to satisfy my tastebuds in some special way. I almost boycotted salads because I can have those every day when I’m eating clean. I tried to squeeze in every food item I normally limit – and what a let down! Then, I thought “I really like the way eating clean tastes and makes me feel. So WHY OH WHY do I want to eat garbage?”
Don’t get me wrong, an occasional burger is no biggie, but hot wings one day, pizza the next, and ice cream too – that’s just dumb. Crappy food makes me feel crappy. It has no real fuel and nutrients to energize me so I am also more tired and less likely to workout. It’s double dumb! Yet, when I eat clean most of the time and have a small treat, it’s awesome. It’s not enough to make me feel bad and it’s just enough to satisfy a craving. That’s smart. So, why can’t I always be smart? I think it’s because we feel like we are missing something. How stupid is THAT!
When we are dieting, we aren’t missing anything worth missing. It’s when we are eating poorly, we are really missing out. We are missing out on feeling awesome in our clothes, as well as feeling energized to really LIVE and have fun. Our confidence is better, we are stronger, we are happier, we are more apt to do stuff we wouldn’t do when we feel fat and ugly (like go to the beach or wear a fitted dress). We don’t mind being in pictures, we are more positive to be around and aren’t as depressed. That’s not worth missing. Eating pizza and feeling like a big greasy slob afterwards? That’s worth missing!
So, the next time you feel like you are missing something when you are dieting, remember no chocolate in the world is worth what you’d be missing if you weren’t dieting & exercising! Making poor choices is trading the positive effects of healthy living for a temporary pleasure. It’s ain’t worth it – and it’s just plain dumb!
Let’s eat smarter!!
OK, can I get a count by lifting your hands: Who wants to be weak? I’m pretty sure no one is raising their hand right now. No one is jumping up and down saying “Meeee! Meee!” No one wants to be weak. People want to be STRONG! And even if they are not strong, they want to appear strong.
What is required for strength? Well, in the fitness world, building strength requires lifting things that are quite difficult. It requires putting your body under great pressure. Our body doesn’t get stronger using the same 5lbs weights we started with. No, we have to keep moving up, keep trying heavier weights and keep challenging our body – many times to the point of failure (or perceived failure).
I personally HATE to fail. That’s why I hate pistol squats. I only can do so many before complete failure. Not only that, I can’t do them really well, and I can’t do that many of them. Even if I do as many as I set out to do, I consider myself a failure because they aren’t deep as I want, I’m not flexible enough to hold my dang foot out in front of me and I am not strong enough to pump that many out. I leave that exercise every time feeling like a big fat failure.
This is why I don’t like doing them. This is why I want to quit trying them. I stink at them. BUUUUT, I know I will NEVER get any better, any stronger or any more flexible unless I keep trying them.
Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
We must realize every success requires many failures. We MUST fail to succeed. Every failure teaches us what not to do, it tests our strength, it teaches us discipline, it challenges our poor attitude and it grows our character. The good news is with every failure, is also a mini-success. These smaller successes help keep us trying. BUT, without trying, we never experience the small successes.
No one likes to fail. In fact, people try to avoid failure at all costs. People don’t love, for the risk of a failed relationship. People don’t pursue their dreams, because of the risk of failure. Many people don’t even start a diet or workout program because they don’t believe they can succeed and don’t want to be a failure in that too. However, if you want to succeed, you need to be ready for many failures (big or small) along the way. Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
Don’t give into your weaknesses. Decide to be strong today. Accept that failure is a part of life, and the more chances you have to fail, the more chances you have to succeed.
We all have excuses why we can’t do certain things, or we why we are down on our luck, but we often act paralyzed when we really are just simply limited. The truth is, most of us have limitations. We just have learned to work around our limitations. Money is limited, time is limited, our abilities are limited. Some people are more limited than others, but we can ALL do something to improve.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you CAN do. Sadly, people often think “if I can’t do it 100%, I won’t do it at all””. Do you have that attitude? That’s no way to live. A better attitude to have is “I may not be able to give 100% in comparison to others, but I can give it MY 100% right now – no matter what that looks like”.
Maybe you feel defeated if you can only workout 2 times a week so your tempted to not exercise at all. Maybe you have a physical limitation that is keeping you from the gym because you can’t do a full body workout, but could you work just part of your body? Maybe your body is able and your mind is willing, but you simply don’t know what to do. Do what you know you CAN do. The point is you can always do SOMETHING.
Make a list of things you CAN’T change right this minute that bring you down. Now make a list of things you CAN change that will improve your life, attitude, health and even your situation down the road. Start tackling that list. Do what you can with what you have. Even if you can’t change your situation, you can change you for your situation. As a result, your situation often changes too.
No More Excuses.
I think of all the people who have tried to get fit for YEARS and failed. THEN, they decide to join one more gym, do one more boot camp, hire one more trainer, try one more diet program, take one more class, do one more fitness program, join one more support group, try one more time – and they SUCCEED!
What if they didn’t try one more time? They would have never known that success was just around one more corner.
I challenge you today to make it your goal, your mantra, your promise to yourself that you will never stop trying one more thing to help you get fit. Fitness rarely works for people on their first try. Everyone has to learn what they enjoy, learn how to train right and eat right and learn how to bounce back when they mess up – because everyone messes up.
I’ve seen WAY too many people who said “I’m not a gym person” turn into gym people. I’ve seen people who truly thought they’d never be able to lose weight lose 100lbs. I’ve seen elderly and feeble feel young and strong. Each one of them had to take the risk and try “one more time” – and it paid off.
Where are you in your fitness journey? Are you at a standstill? Are you in reverse? Are you questioning if you can ever reach your goals? Are you ready to give up? No matter where you are, remember…Just. One. More.
When you go into a marriage, you each come with a lot of baggage – baggage you might not even know you had. At first, you are so in love you don’t notice the weight you each carry right away. Over time, the burden of carrying the extra junk begins to show – and new junk gets piled on too! In many ways, marriage is like weight loss. It requires a permanent commitment to succeed, and it takes a lot of work, discipline, balance, self-control and constant effort if you want to maintain it.
Today we celebrate 20 years of marriage! This above photo was of Steve and I at a company beach party in the early part of our marriage (in the 90’s – that explains the high waisted swim suit I had on! OMG!). The party was put on by Steve’s favorite boss of all-time, Tom Kane of the Center for Orthopedic Sports & Physical Therapy in Tallahassee, FL. We thought we were so fit. haha! Boy did we have a lot to learn!
Sure, we worked out. We even did occasional cardio! lol However, we were merely in the honeymoon stage of both our marriage – and our fitness. The newness was fun and exciting. We were beginning to do a lot right, but we were still doing a LOT wrong.
Over the years, we not only learned that marriage was going to be harder than we thought, and so was staying fit and healthy! It’s taken years to learn how to eat healthier and work out better (more effectively and more efficiently). We’ve learned how to maintain a healthier weight by managing calories and practicing self-discipline. Instead of yo-yoing up and down, binging (cheating) and then crash dieting, now we eat pretty healthy all the time with small cheats here and there – which is a healthier and happier way to live. We rely less on exercise to erase our food “sins” and more on self-control and keeping our diet and lifestyle in balance so we don’t have to spend 2 hours a day in the gym.
I encourage you to always work to improve. Alway seek knowledge. Always work at it! And always remember you are learning every single day – even in your failures. And, most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP. All the hard work, all the failures, all the mistakes, all the struggles are WORTH IT as LONG AS YOU stick to the commitment you first made. If you quit, all the work was for nothing.
I’m so thankful Steve and I have stuck it out, even when the hard work didn’t seem to work right away (like doing a new fitness program…and you wonder when it will EVER pay off!). Sound familiar? I am telling you! There were days we both were nearly convinced we couldn’t succeed no matter how hard we tried. Now we laugh at that thought! And the same goes for you – in whatever you are striving for. Don’t give up when things are tough…chances are, victory is JUST around the corner!!!
Keep your eye on the prize! Don’t look back and keep pressing on. The reward is greater than you could EVER imagine!!!! Whether it’s weight loss or your marriage. The reward is worth the work!
<3 Love you Stephen James Pfiester!!!
There is something about wearing a shirt with a message. It can make you feel strong when your mind is weak, and it can make you look as strong as you may feel. Either way, motivational tops are the craze right now, empowering men and women all across the globe.
This tank (left) is one of my newest tanks: SWEAT – She Will Endure All Things. Steve got a t-shirt that says “Fear is Useless“. So true! If you love motivational apparel too, here’s some thoughts to chew on. Get ready for good juicy bit of advice, because your motivational top may be more powerful than you think – for the Good or for the Bad.
What Message Are You Sending?
One of my favorite tanks is this “Strong Women Empower Women” top. You guys know I love to encourage people to reach their goals. You also know how much I love motivational mantras and sending empowering messages. So this shirt is top on my fav list because it says what I hope to be. Are you already trying to figure out how in the world a positive shirt like this could deliver a wrong message. Well, keep reading (and have no fear, there is a very positive message in all of this too!).
We all have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. It starts first with what we DO, not what we say. Then it’s followed up by evidence (results), the availability to help others, and your desire to pass along what you’ve learned. Everyone has someone who has influenced their life – especially in fitness. Some people influence people to go in the right direction, and some people influence people to go in the wrong direction.
My warning today is if you wear a shirt like this, it’s like putting a Christian fish on your car. You are labeling yourself and there is a responsibility to act like your label. As soon as you put that bumper sticker on your car, you can’t go cutting people off and acting a fool on the road and expect people to believe your bumper sticker. A matter of fact, you may make everyone think every Christian is a jerk like you – and because of their one bad experience after you flipped them off, they may vow to never step foot in a church again. That’s quite a responsibility right?
The same goes with fitness. If you wear a top like these tanks, you are labeling yourself as a leader and a fitness enthusiast – and people are watching. Will you be a good example or a bad one? Will your lifestyle, actions and words turn people OFF to fitness or turn them ON? Will people see you and think, “I’m never stepping foot in a gym if that’s how people act” or will they RUN to the gym out of pure excitement after watching you pick healthy foods in the grocery store, seeing you run in the rain, or watching you drink water while everyone else drinks beer. Will you inspire people to also be their best and get healthy?
Be a GOOD Fitness Witness
This doesn’t mean you have to be fit and trim to wear this type of shirt. It means you have to be going in the right direction. You should be TRYING – and you have to realize people are watching your every move. You are a “fitness witness”. If you wear a top that says “Never Surrender”, then you better never surrender!!!! If you wear a shirt that says “Strong Women Empower Women”, you better make time for other women, encouraging them, lifting them up and passing along your strength.
GYM RATS: I encourage you, if you are a gym rat or workout queen, remember where you came from. Remember the time you felt weak, fat, out of shape and completely uncomfortable in the gym. Remember how good it felt when people helped you. Remember how bad if felt when people were discouraging or acted to busy to help you. Remember what you needed when you first started – and be THAT person. Be the person making a difference and letting their fitness rub off on others.
NEWBIES: If you are new, remember you can be a great “fitness witness” too. Even if you are 100lbs overweight and just starting your journey, you can encourage others to do what you are doing. You might even be a BETTER “fitness witness” because your struggle is a little more noticeable than someone else who may not be overweight, but has another type of struggle. You have an amazing chance to inspire someone to get fit no matter where you are on your fitness journey!
People are watching you and it is SO GOOD FOR YOU. You can use that to empower you, to hold yourself accountable and to keep you on track. It gives you one more good reason not to fail. Your failure could prevent someone else from trying and succeeding too. There is someone out there looking at you thinking “if she can do it, I can too”. At the same time they are thinking, “if she can’t do it, no one can”. How’s THAT for pressure? However, I believe pressure is good. Accountability is healthy. Use it to help you reach your goals – and STAY THERE!
Show the world what you are doing and who you strive to be, for the most accountability and the most impact on those around you!! Wear the motivation. Be the motivation.
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Transformation Requires Surrender
People love to learn what they can do to improve their life. They hunger for tips that are easy to apply, like read this devotional, attend this service, do this workout, take this supplement – but BOY do they NOT like to hear what they shouldn’t do, what they need to give up, what they need to CHANGE.
Most people are willing to work a little harder to get something, but most people are not willing to surrender. Surrender requires giving up something you like. Christianity requires giving up doing whatever you want. Fitness requires giving up eating whatever you want. The gain is worth it, but so many people resist surrender, holding on to what is really making them miserable to begin with.
That’s where the bondage comes in. We hold on to it, and it holds on to us – paralyzing us, and preventing us to be all we can be. In both cases, it’s not about doing, it’s about surrendering. Once we surrender, then and only then, can we experience real freedom. After we surrender, major life-changing transformation can begin.
Let’s establish one thing first. Food is good. Food is a gift from God. Food is to be enjoyed. Food becomes bad only when we abuse it. Excess food is damaging. Unhealthy food eaten often is damaging. When food begins to rule our life, reshape our body, destroy our self-esteem, control our thoughts, affect our health and slow us down – food is wrong. It’s sin.
I know, harsh words from the skinny girl. Food is a big topic in our house. It’s a constant struggle for us too. We love food. We love to eat, but we can’t let it control our life.
Did you know God talks about food and gives specific commands and advice about it? Why? Why does he care what we eat and how much we eat? Simple! It’s not about giving a list of things to avoid, giving us more rules to be mean. He knows what it does to us. He knows we can’t be who He called us to be while we are fat, out of shape and miserable. He knows what’s BEST for us – and He wants us to have a flourishing, healthy, happy, long, vibrant life! He is not a God of rules, He is a God of love. The same way you want your loved ones to feel good and be healthy, He wants the same for His children.
10 Scriptures Concerning Food & Our Body
Even if you don’t believe in God, there is not one person who can deny that every word written is for our benefit. That it is helpful and good. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.. Even if you just feel it’s a good self-help book, it’s words have great value and shouldn’t be taken lightly. And if you DO believe in God, then you REALLY want to take this even more seriously. Check it out…
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16
How many people could we feed if we shared our food instead of kept it to ourself. It’s amazing how much we are not willing to share. I bet I could feed an entire family every single day with the leftovers I should be leaving behind. Instead, we prefer to eat until we are stuffed…eating more than we even need.
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19
In verse 18, Paul actually calls these people enemies of Christ. ouch! Could it be that our testimony is affected when we don’t practice self control and when we feed our fleshly desires in such a way we are more controlled by our stomach than we are by God? hmmmmm…
…make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14
The New International Version says “do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. How often do we think of how much we want to indulge, planning our cheat meal, dreaming of food. We should be thinking of ways to resist it, practice control and think of things that are helpful to us and others.
#4 STUFFING YOURSELF:
When dining with a rich man, be on your guard and don’t stuff yourself, though it all tastes so good. Proverbs 23:1
Matthew Henry explains this verse, “The sin we are warned against is luxury and sensuality, and the indulgence of the appetite in eating and drinking, a sin that most easily besets us.” The next verse (vs 2) says “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Don’t freak! It’s not saying slit your throat here and just kill yourself if you can’t control yourself. Matthew Henry explains it beautifully saying, “We must alarm ourselves into temperance and moderation: “Put a knife to thy throat, that is, restrain thyself, as it were with a sword hanging over thy head, from all excess.” It is clear scripture takes this topic very seriously.
They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. Psalm 78:18
The people were rebelling against God, being unappreciative. They wanted meat. This is when God sent down manna, but it wasn’t long before they were complaining about that too. Can you imagine? Complaining about God giving you a miracle of food falling from the sky. Ironically, we do it all the time. God has given us a miracle too. Each plant that sprouts up from the ground and delivers us a beautiful piece of fruit is a miracle, a gift. When did eating fruit and vegetables become such a bad thing? Do we demand the food we crave and have we become unappreciative of the food God has given us? What lengths are we willing to get it?
#6 FOOD ANXIETY
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25-34
How much do we stress about dieting, eating healthy, being around unhealthy food, dreaming about eating foods we love and anxious about eating healthy? I love this line: “Is not life more than food? Powerful!”
#7 FOOD ADDICTION:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Many are enslaved to food. We look at food like “we have the right to eat whatever we want. What scripture is saying is you “have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial” you “have a right to do anything, but do not be mastered/controlled by anything”. Sure, you have the right to eat a cookie, but does that cookie control you? Ouch again!
#8 GLUTTONY & ALCOHOLISM:
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep (laziness) clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21
This tells me 3 things. One, it’s wrong to drink and eat too much. Two, it’s wrong to be lazy and sleep too much. Three, we shouldn’t even hang out with people that eat and drink too much. Why? It’s not because we are too good for them or that they are bad necessarily. I think it’s because God knows it’s too tempting for us to join them.
#9 UNHEALTHY CHOICES:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Eating too much and eating unhealthy foods destroys our body – plain and simple. We have an obligation to protect God’s temple, to protect our body.
#10 GOOD CHOICES: (Make God proud!)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
How wonderful to think I can honor God even in what I eat and drink. If we never thought he cares about what we eat or drink, this scripture corrects that. He does care, and He desires us to honor him even when we eat and drink. People are always watching what we do, and He knows we can even be a good example at the table. Awesome!
Please know I struggle with this too. You aren’t alone. I hope you were encouraged by these scriptures. I know some of these scriptures seem harsh, but if your kid jets out in traffic, do you think you’d be gentle and whisper? No! You’d yell and yank them back to safety in a heartbeat. God wants to yank you to safety! He cares about you – even what you eat and drink. What LOVE! <3
This topic excites me SO much! I would love to write a book on this and a matching devotional! I pray someday I can do this!!!
Going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Even doing an occasional intense workout doesn’t necessarily get you fit either. Your body needs a lot more than just regular gym attendance – it needs a healthy lifestyle. Being fit requires eating for fuel, giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow and repair. It requires discipline. You may need to say “No’ next time you are asked to go out when you know your body desperately needs rest. Your body needs ample fluids for healthy hydration and to help flush toxins. Your body needs good posture to relieve joints and to prevent injury. Sadly, there are a lot of people working hard in the gym to get fit, who are destroying their bodies as soon as they walk out the door.
Whether it’s eating junk food, smoking, drinking, not getting rest, allowing too much stress in your life or being in an unhealthy relationship, unhealthy choices can trump any good workout if you are not careful.
Sure, you might get stronger if you lift weights regularly, but you could still die of lung cancer if you smoke. You could still be at risk of diabetes and obesity related illness even if you do regular cardio, if you continue to eat healthy. Even if you workout, you can still be at risk for injury due to poor posture or tight muscles.
The bottom line is you can’t expect to pick and choose what you are willing to do to be fit and healthy. Being fit is something you work toward all day long. Decide to strive for the full package – healthy inside and out. Look healthy because you ARE healthy!
- Be STRONG: Lift weights regularly
- Be FIT: Challenge your cardiovascular system with regular cardio
- Be HEALTHY: Eat healthy food – you really are what you eat!
- Be FLEXIBLE: Remember to stretch tight muscles to prevent poor posture and injury.
- Be CALM: Meditate, pray and rest. Your body and mind needs quiet time too.