Just over a year ago, I had my annual medical. After a routine bone-density scan, the diagnosis came back: osteoporosis. The doctor offered me an array of pharmaceutical options.
I am no stranger to osteoporosis. Both my mother and my mother-in-law have suffered collapsed vertebrae—a very painful condition. In my 90-year-old mother’s case, she had to give up independent living and reside in a nursing home.
So when the doctor told me I had osteoporosis, I took it very seriously.
“Will you give me one year to try natural ways of dealing with it?” I asked.
He agreed, but told me that one year later he would repeat the scan and if he saw no change, I would have to take medications.
At home, I reviewed the medical websites, and altered the regimen of vitamins and minerals I take accordingly.
I knew that exercise needed to play a key part in what I did. The kids had some P90X videos lying around the house, and I decided to try them. P90X is a series of more than 12 videos, and I love the variety. Disclaimer: P90X is an intense and extreme workout–not to be used by someone who is unfit. I do not come from a particularly athletic family, so exercise has never been a large part of my lifestyle, but a few years back, the Lord spoke to Tony and me telling us we were to get fit, so I had at least been working out from time to time before I started.
I took the P90X videos very slowly, starting with tiny weights, and gradually increasing. I still do most of the push-ups on my knees, and the pull-ups using a resistance band, and I modify many of the activities. Would you believe that my favorite video exercise is kick-boxing? I’m way fitter than I used to be.
Last month, I had my annual medical again.
I no longer have osteoporosis! Thank you, Jesus! (The doctor said he’d never seen that extensive a reversal before).
It feels like I did nothing special. All I did was be consistent. I showed up, and kept showing up all year. One hour of exercise per day, usually five or more days a week. And it has made a very significant difference.
For some reason this has felt very empowering.
I realize how often just showing up and doing a little has created accomplishments in my life. Like writing books: You eat an elephant one bite at a time. For example, as a student, I went through the Navigators Topical Memory System, and for several years learned three verses a week. (I just wish I could still remember the references too!) Often when the Lord has used me, it’s been the end result of consistent small steps.
So at the beginning of this year, I’m asking the Lord, what goals do you have for me this year, and what small steps do you want me to take consistently?
Adapted from Felicity Dale‘s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is an author and an advocate for women in the church. She trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.