Encouraging You in Health and Fitness
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  • Testimony of the Month

    Sondra CraytonI started working with Casey in January 2014. My focus is on increasing my strength, flexibility & coordination. About 5 years ago, I had some knee surgery that became infected. As a result of the infection, I had 2 surgeries to clean out the infection & then IV antibiotics for 3 months. Before that surgery, I was very active doing activities such as skiing, cycling, & hiking – all of which require strong legs. After the surgery, I was only able to ski once a week due the pain that I felt after skiing.

    Casey & I have been focusing on strengthening my legs as well as working on my form with exercise – I tend to not have good form as I have been compensating for the pain in my leg over the years. I have had great progress in the past 2 months that I have worked with Casey. In fact, I recently went skiing in Vermont. While there I was able to ski much more difficult trails and ski 4 out of 6 days. I had a great time!!! I attribute my success with the skiing to the work I have done with Casey. I still have more progress to make but I am very encouraged with the work we have done so far.

    After I got back from Vermont, I told Casey that he is a miracle worker. The reason I said that is that I have been through a lot of physical therapy as well as 3 years of Pilates after the knee surgeries. Although both modalities did help me, Casey was able to move me to a level that I never thought I would achieve again. His initial assessment helped him target the areas of weakness and then design an exercise program that has helped me immensely. I feel so fortunate that I have connected with Casey and look forward to my continuing work with him.     ~Sondra Crayton

     

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Will you be His Valentine?

Welcome to February… known for its cold temperatures, being the shortest month, and a gateway to Spring. (Now there’s a pleasant thought!) February is most commonly known however, as the month of LOVE due to Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th of this month.

Throughout my years I have noticed that many people share different views about this holiday. Many people look forward to Valentine’s Day with anticipation. They are anxious to see what their significant other has planned, or has purchased for them, in order to show their love and affection. Others however dread this holiday, wishing it wasn’t existent due to feeling as though there is no one who is going to choose them as their “Valentine”. And then there are those who are totally indifferent to Valentine’s Day and don’t seem to show much emotion to this day one way or another.

Which of these people do you identify yourself with? If you are someone who goes above and beyond on this special day, using it as an opportunity to show those special people in your life how much you truly love them, great for you! But my question for you is this, shouldn’t we use every day as an opportunity to demonstrate our love for the people around us? If you are someone who finds yourself a little grumpy on Valentine’s Day, feeling down and out because you feel as though you’re not someone’s “Valentine”, I’ve got exciting news for you! You have the best Valentine of all, Jesus Christ!

John 3:16-17For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

This, my friends, is a reason to celebrate each and every day! While those that we love and admire on Valentine’s may mean the world to us, we are not able to give them any greater a gift than what has already been given by our powerful and merciful God. The awesomeness and power of this love continues to blow my mind each and every day. Do you know what the best part is? God does not wait for a special holiday to demonstrate his love to us. His love is all around us, every day, every hour, and every minute if we take the time to acknowledge it. To God, every day is Valentine’s Day, and he chooses all of us to be his “Valentine”!

My hope is that this month brings you love. Love from friends, family members, spouses and significant others, but most of all I hope that the love of God fills your heart in an abundance! Go out into the world and share this love with others. Make every day a celebration of those that are in our lives.

Eternal Power Fitness would like to extend an opportunity to show our love this month with an upcoming charity event at The Vineyard Community Center in Westerville. This will be a group workout led by Jordan James of EPF and will be held this coming Saturday, February 8th at 11:30 a.m. The event is free to attend, however donations are welcomed and appreciated.  For every person in attendance, Eternal Power Fitness will be donating $5.00 to the Central Ohio Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kid’s Sake. We hope that you can join us to help share the love.

Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

 In Love,

Hillary

We are what we think (and say)

Yell“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”  (James 3:5)

Every now and then, when you watch a sporting event like football, baseball, or basketball, you’ll see and sometimes hear a player or coach saying something demeaning to another player (negative talk or trash talking).  The purpose of the trash talking is to get inside the other team’s head so they can’t play as effectively as before.  At the same time, the negative talk tends to motivate those who are doing the talking.  It’s nothing unusual – it’s something that has been done for years and years.  The words and phrases are widely accepted in competitive sports, but at the same time, there is no way we’d want our kids using the same language.

In the scripture above, James shares that the tongue is a very dangerous weapon.  Often others judge us not by what we do, but by what we say and how we say it.  The best definition of swearing I have heard is that it is an expression of a weak mind trying to express him- or herself forcibly.  The great collegiate basketball coach John Wooden was as successful as any coach, but refused to use foul language to coach his team.  Many coaches have had great success without using harsh or negative language.  What can we learn from them?  I’m sure controlling the tongue meant controlling other thoughts and feelings (ie: anger and attitude) in their coaching as well.  Many people have said that swearing becomes a hard habit to break.  Furthermore, guarding the tongue is a discipline that needs to be practiced just like the skills of a sport.

One example of negative thoughts and language we deal with on a daily basis is our clients using it to motivate or define themselves.  How many times have you or someone you know said (whether out loud or in your head) one of these lines:

I can’t do this – it’s too hard.

That person is better than me!  I can’t workout with them.

I’m comfortable here with my own routine, so I don’t need to do anything else.

I am the worst of this group.

Everyone else is unhealthy in my family, so I will be too.

No one is watching.  I need a break and a snack!

The truth is, negative self-talk affects how we think, how we feel, and how we respond.  And oftentimes – after a few uses – it becomes the truth we believe and regard as a fact.  The Bible tells us to watch our tongues – no only to watch how we speak to others, but also what we say to ourselves.  Expressing negative thoughts and language will affect our state of mind and (more importantly) our relationship with the wonderful Creator.

As we progress into the Christmas and New Year season, we tend to have less time to devote to ourselves.  Just because this is the norm this time of year does not mean we need to think any less of ourselves when it comes to our health, fitness, and the shape of our bodies.  So what may start as a harmless negative thought about ourselves may turn into a full blown belief that will lead to other negative talk out loud to others and other false beliefs about ourselves.  We want to empower you not to light that spark within yourself.  This talk can pull us farther away from the reason we celebrate the season.  Jesus came to save us, and we are being saved each day!  NOTHING can be more wonderful than that!  Please honor the body God gave you by thanking him, and by doing that, you will honor our Father.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.”  (James 3:9-10)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jordan

Hope in our Struggles

Have you ever hit a slump in your workouts?  Who hasn’t, right?  It’s common to see a noticeable drop off in participation as people approach the busy holiday season.  If you struggle with this, I don’t say it to make you feel guilty.  I’m guessing this is a struggle for most people out there, whether they admit it or not.  It’s easy to feel like you are the only one who struggles to get to the gym on time (or at all), or who struggles between ordering a salad vs. that big juicy burger and fries that looks so much better.  It’s definitely common to struggle with food over the Holidays.  The candy, baked goods, and comfort foods are so easily accessible, it’s no wonder we struggle with eating too much.

Guess what?  Even if no one else knows your struggles, God knows.  In fact, He knew you would struggle with your weight, or your energy, or your commitment, (or insert anything here), long before He formed you.  How about this for a promise:  “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Did you catch that?  God is telling us directly that He knew us long before anyone else did.  He knew what we would look like, who we would become, and what our struggles would be.  He also knew what we would be good at!

A couple weeks ago Casey and I had the privilege of seeing our newest baby for the first time (pictured at right).  Even OLinn Baby 5 001though this is our 5th child, seeing this little life on the ultrasound screen never ceases to amaze me.  What’s even more amazing is that this child inside of me is no bigger than my thumb, yet he/she is so intricately formed already.  I’ll spare you a reproductive lesson, but I will say that the moment the sperm hit that egg, it was already determined whether this baby would be a boy or a girl, have blond hair or brown hair, blue eyes or green, be athletically inclined or not, and so on and so on.

In Psalm 139 it says:  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Sometimes it’s hard to feel like praising God when you feel overweight, unworthy, stressed, anxious, or unsatisfied with your workouts.  But I want to challenge you to try.  Each of you is fearfully and wonderfully made.  God has known you since before you were formed and he knows your struggles.  The greatest thing is that He promises to be with you through those struggles.

So as we approach the Holidays, don’t be discouraged.  In fact, we’d love for you to come to our breakout session entitled “How Physical Fitness Affects Spiritual Fitness” on November 9th at the Vineyard Church (for information, click here).  Keep pressing forward and know that you are not alone.  God wants you to succeed even more than we do.  Remember this:  “…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:3-5)

Blessings,

Brittan

What’s Your “Why”?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies.

2 Timothy 2:21 – Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

These two verses have played a huge role in the direction of my life, and I’ll explain why in just a minute.

Not long ago, a few friends and acquaintances asked me why fitness is such an important thing to me. The question caught me a bit by surprise, so I gave them a relatively generic answer – because I want to be stronger, have more energy, and be more functional in life, and I want others to have the same things. While all of that seemed great to me, that answer wasn’t enough. The follow-up question a few times was something like “that’s fine, but why do you REALLY want to be in fitness?” I didn’t have a fantastic answer to that, so I went home and digested the question for a while.

Why do I REALLY want to be involved in the fitness area? Strength, energy, and functionality aren’t big enough reasons? What else is there? So I wrote a list of reasons to be fit. The list became longer and longer… and longer. By the time I was done, there were well over 100 items on the list. Some of the items were pretty sincere – like I want to live to be a great grandfather instead of a grandfather, or I want to set a positive example of healthy living for my kids. Some others were a little odd – like I want to be able to beat (or run from) villains if I had to. Some reasons were a little vain – like I wanted to be more awesome than the guys in American Ninja. Still others were deeply personal – like I’m battling my own personal demons and I have to win the battle each day.

It was a fun list to write, and even more fun to read. But as I was reading it, I noticed that all of the items had something in common. Each reason was attached to something temporary. For example, if I live to be a great grandfather, I win. If someone broke into my house and I beat him in an endurance test of a fistfight, my fitness goal is accomplished. If the day came when all of my personal demons are defeated because I exercised them out of me, that would rock. Then what? I no longer have a reason to stay fit… right?

The reason to be fit should be something deeper than that surface stuff… right?

Gary Thomas wrote a fantastic, and highly recommended, book called Every Body Matters. In it, Thomas emphasizes the point that fitness shouldn’t be something that is modeled after the stuff you see and absorb from the media – despite what media tell you, there is no perfect size and there is no perfect human image. We need to find that place in ourselves where we can be comfortable in our own bodies. But most importantly, we need to remember to always honor God with our bodies and be prepared to use our bodies as tools to do God’s work when called upon.

Honoring God with our bodies and being prepared to do God’s work… now those are two fantastic reasons to stay fit. God is always with us, which is something to be thankful for each day. As a sign of love for our God, we should stay prepared to act when called as well. God always has a purpose for our lives. So what would that be saying if our mouths said that we love God, but our bodies told God “I hear what you’re saying, but I’m kind of tired… can I serve you next week instead of right now?”

There it is in a nutshell. The mission of Eternal Power Fitness isn’t necessarily to create an army of supermodels or CrossFit warriors. It’s to prepare as many bodies as we can to do God’s good work. The reason is because we love God, and we are called to share our love in this way. This sentiment couldn’t be stated any more beautifully than in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and 2 Timothy 2:21.

When you think about the reasons why you are interested in fitness, whether it’s getting back into shape or preparing for an event when you’re already in shape, remember that God blessed you with the body you have. He loves you no matter your shape, size, or position in life. And remember – keep God in the center of your life when thinking about why you consider improving your level of fitness.

Committed to your health,

Jordan

The Costly Refusal of Temptation

Discipline….no one really likes discipline. I like these 2 definitions: Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement. Or how about controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.  My one year old hates discipline.  He can’t discipline himself, so guess who has to?  That’s right….us (mom and dad).  And any inclination of a “No” equals crying and disappointment.

Sound familiar? It does with me…I try to be disciplined in many areas of my life, but I seem to fail miserably at times.  For instance, I am so bad at scheduling my time (outside of training) that my lovely wife has to do it for me.  So now, in order to make sure I get to other important meetings, or make time to work on the EPF business, I have to be disciplined with my time and schedule properly in order to grow and make an impact with many.  But I’ve noticed in our culture there are so many distractions around.  And if I get distracted (which is fairly easy), then I am headed for trouble.  Anyhow, I bring this up because I want you to know and understand why discipline is so hard.

Two words:  Temptations & Distractions

Let me give you another example. There is a story in the Bible of a guy named Joseph who was trying to live a worthy and excellent life (Genesis 39).  Now at this point, you would think he is way off the mark with his goal because he was almost killed by his brothers, was sold into slavery, and was bought by Potiphar, captain of the Egyptian guard. That doesn’t sound like a worthy and excellent life to me.  At this point, some might even think he is doomed to servant hood his whole life.  It sounds like the deck is stacked against him.  Can any of you relate?

The good news for Joseph is that as he serves Potiphar and earns favor with him, he then becomes overseer of Potiphar’s house who has no concern or worry about Joseph’s character. Now that’s worthy and excellent.   To finish the story, Joseph is tempted repeatedly by Potiphar’s wife (who makes sexual advances to seduce Joseph).  Finally, after refusing to concede to her day after day, she accuses him of trying the same thing she was doing.  Bottom line – Joseph overcame these temptations every day until – wouldn’t you know it – he was accused of the exact same thing and thrown into jail.

Is there no justice in our fight against temptations?  Have you ever felt like this?  Just wanting to give up on whatever situation you are in – trying to live a healthy and upright life.  Tired of always trying to avoid the temptation of unhealthy food and distracted by many things other than trying to get an exercise routine in.  Then when you do overcome, is there any gratification day in and day out, over and over? Shouldn’t overcoming these temptations and distractions make us feel better about ourselves?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Here are a few ideas from Eternal Power Fitness:

1)      Persevere – changes in your eating and exercise habits are hard if you aren’t regularly trying.  The most impressed I am is when I see my clients consistently come and make an effort over and over and over despite their tiredness, weariness of being a mom, or craziness of schedule.  They are there early in the morning, or after work regardless of their circumstances or how they feel.  They persevere!

Yes, I hear you already.  Persevering is too hard in itself.  I feel better when I give into my temptations at times.  My body feels good (temporarily) when I eat sugary or salty foods.  Ahhh….it feels great to come home and relax in some way, or what a joy to sleep in to get that extra hour of sleep.  I get it!  I see all of you and I go through the same thoughts too.  Don’t get me wrong that feeling is normal and okay for a temporary time frame.  As my pastor has said, “perseverance is not all that flashy – but it is faithful”.  Therefore, overcoming those stingy temptations is enduring and shows faith? What does this mean?  Faith to who?

2)      Being faithful – to a community or someone other than yourself.  Changing your lifestyle is ultimately changing you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  But let’s look at the bigger picture.  You represent more than just yourself.  Here are some examples of people in your community that depend on you and want to encourage you:  your immediate family; your friends; your training group, your coaches/trainers, your co-workers, your God (something bigger than you). All of these people just mentioned care about you and want the best health for you.  So be faithful to persevere for their sake not yours.

3)      Prayer – I love the way Pastor Rich Nathan puts it in regards to people serving each other: “The human will cannot be relied upon under pressure.  We will quit.  Under pressure our wills will fail.  It’s not human toughness that keeps us Christians serving year after year.  It is the grace of God that enables us to persevere.  We need to pray for the gift of perseverance.” 

I hope you realize that overcoming temptation is a costly decision – short term and sometimes long term.  But in health and weight loss it is well worth it.  Just ask some of our clients.

So in conclusion, please fight the good fight and persevere.  And don’t just persevere – persevere with the thoughts of being faithful to those closest to you (something bigger than you) and when you feel you can’t overcome much longer pray for the power to persevere! Just try it you might be surprised and I bet those temptations aren’t as costly!

 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many

kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,

not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2-4, NIV)

 

Committed to your health,

Casey

The Intricate Body

Several months ago, I awoke in my home in Blacklick and started doing some work in my office.  To my surprise, I found that something was not right with my desktop computer.  Not thinking it was a big deal, I did some basic troubleshooting (and I do mean basic since I am not computer savvy at all).  In short, nothing was working and the computer kept rebooting itself over and over – almost mocking my efforts!

At this point, knowing I hadn’t backed up our system in a while, I began to worry about losing some of our important data and documents.  This is not something you want to mention to your wife, because as soon as I did, a new sense of panic set in….all of our family pictures and videos were on the computer!  So I began focusing all my attention on getting this fixed.  I called some of my more computer savvy friends and family, I used my laptop to look up the symptoms on Google, and I tried some of the things we read or were told – but nothing was working.

I finally found an article that talked about the exact problem my computer was having.  It gave a list of about 10 different things to check or try.  I was relieved to know that just going through these steps would possibly get my computer working again.  So I went to work!

One of the steps was to clean the internal hard drive.  Hmm…seems easy enough, right?  But when I took off the panel I was surprised by what I found.  Let me preface this by saying that my computer is 3 years old and the only cleaning it has seen has been a quick wiping here or there on the outside – nothing on the inside.  So you can probably guess what I saw when I Broken computeropened the computer:  lots of dust and fluffy monsters clinging to more wires and plugs than I have ever seen crammed into a 6” by 24” box.  I was astonished.  I thought even if this wasn’t the main problem, there was no way my computer could operate properly and effectively with this mess.

Sound familiar?  Our bodies remind me of the inside of a computer.  So intricate and so complicated that only the person who designed us would really know what everything was used for or meant to do.  What if your own health wasn’t so good and we opened you up?  What would we find?  Would we find everything in working order?  Circulatory system nice and clean?  Muscular and skeletal system working well?  Or would we find some parts and systems that didn’t look or operate well?  Would we find arthritis, hardened arteries, some stiff and tight tissues and fascia, lots of fatty cells, dehydration, high blood sugar, etc.?

What if I only had one computer to use and I knew that when I bought it?  Would I take better care of it and keep it at optimal level?  Probably!  What if at the age of 16 you were given one car, and you knew it would be the only car you would have for life?  Would you allow your high school and college buddies to trash it?  Probably not.  I imagine you would dedicate more time to take care of it and research how to keep it working best.

Now picture your body….you only have one.  Do you treat it like it’s the only one you will ever have on earth?  Do you use it well?  Do you keep it working with all the energy, vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to work at an optimal level?

My guess is most of us wait until something goes wrong with our bodies before we decide to think about how to better take care of it.  The point of this is that we were created with unbelievable and amazingly adaptable, resilient bodies.  No body is the exact same (although many are very similar), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of what you were gifted with.  So let me encourage you and motivate you by asking – Do you take for granted the one body God gave you to serve with?

I know I have and I believe many of us do as well.  Please continue to strive to find out how to take care of your body so it functions to the best of its ability. And for those who are already struggling with the functionality of their body please continue to strive with the hope that you can still accomplish much more with this beat up and damaged body than you can imagine.

 “For you formed my inward parts;

You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are your works; My soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139: 13-14 (ESV)

 

Dedicated to your health,

Casey