I’m heading into week three of being sick…two different illnesses…and week three of no aerobics. This is where I planned to say, “SEE?!? THIS KIND OF THING HAPPENS EVERY TIME I TRY TO IMPLEMENT A HEALTHY ROUTINE IN MY LIFE.” But, I won’t, well, except where I just said it anyway. I’m not going to let this throw me. When I’m better, I will get back at it. I refuse to see this as a ploy by my bod to make sure I never whip it back into shape or a sign that I am allergic to exercise. It is what it is and I am not going to beat myself up about not being able to jump around and get sweaty right now.
I have plenty of other things to worry about so I choose to remove that from my list.
When is the last time you picked up a work out routine and stuck with it? This doesn’t mean jumping on the treadmill for five minutes once a month or purchasing a YMCA pass after the first of the year, I mean starting a workout routine and sticking with it. I have and it’s been hard, especially with small children but I can’t let them or any other excuse stop me.
So it’s a good thing that my husband and I own quite a bit of exercise equipment. I had ample space to use them when we lived in our last house because we had a nice sized unfinished basement. I couldn’t make the “I’m too scared of the creepy basement” excuse because we painted the block walls and furnished it. I had my own space and my own time to work out and I enjoyed it. I missed a day here or there but I had successfully kept up with my routine. Besides having alone time, my next biggest motivator was money. I was involved in a biggest looser contest a few times while I worked at my last job. We fairly judged the winner on the person who lost the most mass body index versus weight as we were all various sizes, shapes, heights, and weights. I never won but I felt a definate improvement in my health and well being. Despite the obvious realization that working out had made me feel better, I eventually went back to my old ways and working out was no longer on my agenda.
Old habits, or lack thereof, are hard to break, even when they are habits that improve life. If a hundred people were asked to follow a guideline to have a happy life, a guide that guaranteed happiness, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of those people stopped living by the guide. Moreover, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of those same people would then complain about any unhappiness they would then experience. I am going to be very honest, I’d be the complaining quitter. I know because I am already one. I was given a guide to a happy life and quit long before I ever gave it a chance to change my life.
When I committed to my Christian faith and was given my very own guide to life. Like many people, my Bible rests on my nightstand. I guess I think if I sleep close to it, I’ll absorb all the knowledge I need. It’s like buying a gym pass and expecting to lose weight by the mere possession of it. Staying fit in any capacity requires effort. I was putting zero work into my life and wanted to claim I was physically and spirituality fit. I was nothing more than a fraud. In many ways, I still am. By giving into my old habits and choosing inactivity, I am settling for the mere fscaud of good spiritual and physical health. Why do I settle when I can have the real thing? It takes work.
I wanted the illusion of fitness because it requires none of the work it takes to be fit. This was especially true for my physical workouts. I was already so tired before even starting my workout that I felt too tired to try. My husband told me I had to push through the fatigue and it would get better. I would grin sheepishly because I knew he was right but I also knew my body was sadly too accustomed to the lack of activity. I knew working out would eventually give me more energy, it was just too hard to get myself psyched up enough to try again. I had a hard time giving up my motto, “Plenty of rest will make me feel plenty rested.” It was a misconception based on my lack of knowledge. Plenty of rest just made me lazy. Again, the same went for my spiritual journey. I got lazy. A lot of my distress came from my lack of biblical knowledge and principles. Yes, once a week I’m the one at the edge of my seat listening to a sermon, but I wasn’t opening my bible at home. Once a week wasn’t enough! Just like my physical fitness, I was stagnant by my own lack of knowledge and I was unwilling to change.
There was one thing kept me from being physically or spiritually fit, one hour. Yes, just an hour. I was not willing to put a mere hour to strengthen myself physically and I was only willing to put in more than one hour a week spiritually. Physically, an hour a day would be enough to improve my physical well being. Here is a quote from an online article found here: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/power-surge-the-hidden-benefits-of-exercise/ about the benefits of exercise within the first hour, “Within One Hour of Exercise… You’re protecting yourself against colds, flu, you name it. Exercise elevates your level of immunoglobulins, which are proteins that help bolster your immune system and ward off infection……..”
“You’re feeling zen. Mood-enhancing chemicals, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, flood your brain for a couple of hours post-exercise and for up to a day if you’ve competed in an endurance event, like a marathon. Stress? What stress?”
Wow! One hour of exercise, even within the first hour, has great benefits! Why is it so hard to find that one hour a day if the benefits are so great? Physically and spiritually, one hour a week won’t do. It isn’t enough!
There are those times when fitness becomes a priority with ample motivation. Money was definately mine! Joining the dating pool also seems like one of the best motivaters besides a doctor’s suggestion to do so due to failing health. When someone is searching for a mate, keeping themselves physically fit and well groomed is a good way to increase the chances of getting noticed by a potential mate. When finding “the one” becomes a priority, so might other things like exercise. It’s serious business that requires some serious effort. Someone once told me, “Most people are on their best behavior while they are dating. If the person you are dating isn’t on their best behavior now, it won’t get better after marriage.” It makes sense right? A lot of people put their best foot forward when they are seeking a spouse. If they believe they found “the one” a few things have to go into the relationship to ensure they can then make it to the alter. One of the biggest and most important components needed in a relationship is time. How many couples marry immediately after the first date? Not many! Time is needed nourish the relationship. Time is also needed so the couple can be assured of their compatibility. If no time is spent on either of these, it would be a nothing but a relationship between two strangers.
The only way to turn a stranger into a friend is to spend time with that person.
We need to nurture our relationship with God just as much as our most intimate relationships. We need to act as if we are dating the Lord. We need talk to the Lord, spend time asking questions and telling him about ourselves. We need to continually build trust that is made through our relationship with him. Like any other relationship, the more we know about someone, the more we can trust them. Most people would like a relationship where they can say they can trust their spouse with their life. The same should be true with our relationship with God, but most of us choose not to trust him with our lives. We worry and fret, displaying no trust relationship with our creator. I once heard that we should never worry about the outcome of our troubles because no matter what happens, we win when we trust in the Lord. If we live, we win another day to bring glory to the Lord and if we die, we win because we are finally reunited with Him in death.
Imagine a relationship with the Lord that puts you at peace with any circumstance in life. It doesn’t mean we won’t cry, hurt or feel pain, it means that we can always have the peace that comes from being in an intimate relationship with our Lord. A couple weeks ago I had a worrisome thoughts concerning my son’s upcoming neurosurgery. I couldn’t sleep and my worrying got so bad, I woke my husband from his sleep. I asked him if he thought we were making the right decision. He woke, assured me that he thought we had made the right choice and fell back to sleep. He was so confident that he didn’t stay awake to worry with me. With no one to share in my fear, I decided to simply hold his hand. In this closeness with the person I trusted the most, I calmed down.
This is what God wants to do for us. He wants a loving and trusting relationship that eases our fears and worries by our mere closeness to him. The only way we will get there is to spend more than one hour a week with him. One hour can truly change our lives in so many ways. One hour can transform our physical and spiritual being but it takes effort. What will you give up to get there? Will that couple hours of television a night bring you the peace and comfort God can bring you if you just spare him a few minutes of your time? Will time not spent on something meaningful be a regret you confess on your deathbed? One hour………. think about it……
I can’t even say this without thinking about Cartman on South Park, but I’m big-boned. Always have been. But, I’m also FAT. And maybe that’s not the PC term but I’ve never been accused of being terribly PC. Luckily, I’m also tall so up until about the last 5 years, I’ve “worn it well.” As if someone wears their extra weight like an awesome outfit.
Like about 99% of women, I’ve thought of myself as fat since I was a teenager, even though I definitely wasn’t. Just, as I said, big-boned. Looking back, I’d like to grab 15-year-old me and shake the misconceptions out of my head. Because NOW, now I’m actually over-weight. And with the way I’ve been going, in a few years, I’d be looking back at NOW and thinking I was skinny, just like I look at being 15, now—if that makes any sense.
And it’s not 100% about the way I look, like it was as a teen. It’s about my health and the fact that I get winded bending over to tie my shoes. That I have high blood pressure—and I’m 34. That if I’m not careful about what I eat, I can have pretty terrible sugar lows an hour or two after meals. That I have IBS, which stems mostly from my nerves, but is exacerbated by my terrible diet. It wasn’t always like this. But you can only abuse your body so much before it fights back. And that’s not something you want. So, put the donut down. Yes, you.
I meant to start exercising at the New Year like everyone else. That got derailed quickly as it always feels like there’s some family upset or mental breakdown keeping me from getting anything done. And I won’t go into any of that here…
But, in February I started back to doing some aerobic and toning DVD’s I’d done for about 6 months back in 2008. Six months is a huge deal since I’ve never stuck with any exercise regimen in my life. So, I’ve been at it for about three weeks now and not every day. I feel like if I shove myself too hard, too fast, I’ll get burnt out. But I’m easing myself back into it. In ’08, I was actually in pretty good shape. I didn’t realize it, of course. It wasn’t until I started to work-out this year that I realized just how far I’d let myself slide down the fat slope.
I’d considered taking pictures and documenting my progress on here as a way to make myself accountable. If I know other people are reading about my fat-capades, I’m more likely to keep trying. But, I said it’s not 100% about how I look. That doesn’t mean it’s not at all. I’d say it’s something like 60-40, with my health being my major concern. Don’t get me wrong, I think we’re all beautiful and as long as your weight doesn’t keep you from doing the things you love, or make you sick, then rock on! Unfortunately, I know that most of the world doesn’t feel that way and the internet is a lot like the locker room in high school. I’m not sure I wanna hear anything terrible about how I look, you know, since I might not be able to change it. Why subject myself to hate-speech when I give enough of that to myself? Perhaps I’ll wait and see if I can actually get anywhere and post my journey later. And I mean, I HAVE to get somewhere. Right? I’m pretty sure my quality and quantity of life depends on it.