Can You Last Seven Minutes?


Can you last 7 minutes?” That was the question that has been rolling through my head for the past several weeks. I’ve been wanting to do something exercise related for some time now, but just kept pushing those thoughts out of my mind. What was really bothering me was looking at pictures of our time in Cambodia. I was down to 188 pounds (a personal best, not seen since my freshman year of college). I had peaked, before going to Southeast Asia, at about 227 pounds. A sedentary job as a pastor, long hours & poor choices when it came to both diet and exercise, partnering with three years of inability to do much due to chronic pain & two back surgeries, had led me to this point.


Cambodia was great for us and our health. We ate better there than we ever had in our marriage! Fresh fruit, fresh produce, less meat, less processed foods – and less money – all contributed to a diet that lent itself to allowing our bodies to change for the better. The heat & humidity helped the fat drop off quite rapidly. Walking further for either bananas, or to go to the market, or just for recreation, in the tropical climate also helped my body shed the weight and tone up. One of the Australian ANZ banks I would visit on occasion also had a bathroom scale in the lobby (I know, I loved things like this in SEA). I would weigh every time I made a transaction.

Return to the States

Weeks before returning to the States, I found myself beginning to make some poor dietary choices again. A high-level of stress was contributing to my actions and reactions. The weight started to sneak back. I wasn’t worried. I figured if I could stay around 200 pounds, it would be a healthy place for me. So, with that resignation to begin to allow the weight back on, I threw in the towel on any kind of watching over my health. When we got back to the States, I indulged. Frankly, and honestly, I haven’t stopped indulging for some time. There were foods I had missed and places I craved and beverages I had been relying on for some time. The pounds have packed on. I went to find a bathroom scale at the local Dollar General, but they didn’t carry them. I’ll get one tomorrow, but if I had to guess, I would wager that I am pushing 230 pounds and may very well have sneaked by it. (My gosh, did I just post that on the interwebz?) I’m not content to stay here.

Seven Minute Workout

I think around New Year’s Day I had heard about a workout app called the “7 minute workout“. Check out the link, but the short version is this: you do 12 exercises for 30 seconds each with 10 seconds rest in between. You only get good results if you go high-intensity (that means go as hard as you can for 30 seconds straight) and only rest for the allotted 10 seconds. It doesn’t sound that difficult – especially if you are in shape and athletic. But it is a regimen designed “for the masses”, not necessarily for those athletes already in shape. Here are the exercises:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Wall Sit
  • Push-Ups
  • Abdominal Crunches
  • Chair Step Ups
  • Squats
  • Chair Triceps Dips
  • Planks
  • High Knees Running in Place
  • Lunges
  • Push-Ups with Rotation
  • Side Planks

The beauty is that you don’t need equipment, and it only lasts 7 minutes. They recommend working up to doing 2-3 reps of the workout eventually.

The Question

So the question has been rolling around in my mind, “Can you last seven minutes?” My main concern was that I was going to have a heart attack and die on the living room floor. No joke. I get winded just horsing around. (I know – it’s sad, I’m being honest here) And I kept wanting to pull my “I’ve had major back surgeries – no one would fault me for going easy” card. Truth is, if I shed the weight, my back will thank me! Tonight, while listening to my audiobook, “Good to Go” by Harry Constance (a book on the Navy Seals in Vietnam), I decided to cowboy up and begin the workout. As they say, “The only easy day was yesterday”.

I’m no SEAL, no military trained man, nor do I think I could do any of what these guys do.

But I need to get back into shape. And that sucks. But, the reality is, the only way to make it happen is to man up and just do it.

So I did. I clicked the “Start” button on my iPhone app and gave it my best. I sucked wind and felt like I was going to puke Guiness Blonde & venison and noodles all over the place. But I did it. I lasted seven minutes.

And then….

and then…

and then I went for a walk. I needed the cool-down time any way, but I decided to just keep moving. And I’m proud of myself. I don’t know the schedule of how this will shake out, but I am determined to keep at it. I would like to see the underside of 200 pounds again. I’ve done it once, I think I can do it again. I’ve decided to make some diet choices that will assist me in this endeavor. There’s no magic in seven minutes. But there is magic in moving. And I’m going to move. After all, once you get all this mass going, it’s hard to stop.


What tips and tricks do you have for maintaining proper weight and conditioning? Maybe you have diet tips or healthy snack ideas – I’d be up for anything you could offer.


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