June 14th, 2011
Hey friends! Guess what I did today!? something that I have never done before…
I joined a gym!
Ok, I think I was a member of the YMCA back home when I was in grade school, but this is the first time I personally have signed myself up.
I joined a Y that is on my way to and from work (and I get a discount) mainly for the use of the pool. I am still having trouble with my hip and have decided that running isn’t an option right now…but aqua jogging is a good substitute.
I also get a free 6 week fitness plan (read: personal trainer). If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is. My hope is that I can keep my cardio up and jump into marathon training at a later date.
That brings me to a rather serious topic that has been weighing on my recently. I hope you all know that I try to be 100% honest and myself on this blog. I don’t share every aspect of my life, but I do know that we are all friends and I can be open with you. I come to you for support and vice versa.
Over the past year I have put on weight. It started after training for my first marathon, stopped and then I gained some more training for this past marathon. I had trouble getting into all of my clothes. I knew it was because of the marathon and a lot of the weight that I have gained has been muscle, but not all of it.
There are two things that I want to specify before I go any further:
1) I am a very confident person. Lately it’s becoming very clear to me how confident I really am in myself, and I am very grateful for that. I owe that mainly to my faith in God and who He made me to be and contentment in His plan for me. Also, while growing up, my parents were both stern and loving. I knew my flaws and was punished when I needed to be and yet always felt loved and encouraged. And then there were my brothers. They kind of forced me to be independent and kind of feisty. Boys don’t go to the bathroom together and would look at you like you had three heads if you started to cry and whine. I had to learn how to fend for myself.
2) I DO NOT think I’m fat. AT ALL. Not even a little bit. I’m actually a pretty small person and have a good metabolism. I KNOW THAT. That doesn’t change how I’ve been feeling lately. Feelings are feelings and reflect perception and not reality. But feelings still need to be considered. We’re human and God gave them to us for a reason.
Moving right along…
I have lost some of the marathon weight, but lately I’ve really been struggling with “my new body” (for lack of a better term). I believe that if I were still able to run, I wouldn’t be feeling bad about it. Running doesn’t “make” me thin, but it certainly gives me confidence in a strong and healthy body.
Recently I have also been focusing on strength training…but then I feel like I’m just building muscle underneath stubborn fat that has been sticking around. I feel like I just look bigger instead of more toned. “Frustrating” is an ideal word to describe it. I hate seeing picture of me and I hate shopping for clothes. And bathing suit season is just “annoying” season.
Here’s what I am realizing: the devil is truly playing on this weakness of mine. Like I said, I’m a pretty confident person, but recently there’s been a weakness and it’s like God is testing my trust and satisfaction…and my ability to make good choices in the face of temptation.
There are times when I want to run in spite of my hip injury just to burn a lot of calories quickly. There are times when I want to sacrifice nutrition for low-calorie, low-fat “foods.” There are times whenever I want to obsess and cry and complain about my “horrible” situation.
I’m not going to do any of that. Instead I’m taking control of the things I can take control of.
1) Joining the gym. If I can’t run, I’ll replace it with another exercise that will still help me achieve my goal of another (and sub 4 hour) marathon.
2) My attitude! I am so blessed in this life. There are people who really struggle with their health and other terrible life situations. I should be rejoicing over what God has blessed me with instead of focusing on something so vain.
3) Understanding that my confidence should not ever come from how far or fast I run or my pants size. My body is the Temple of the Living God, NOT some running machine. I don’t run because that is my purpose. My purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
When I complain about my body, that’s not glorifying God.
When I sacrifice health and sanity because of my own vanity, that’s not glorifying God.
When I focus on all that I feel is wrong in my life, that is not enjoying God.
I need to get my focus back to what it needs to be. When I am satisfied in God, that satisfaction trickles down to all parts of my life.
So I guess all this to say that identifying my weakness was critical in this situation. Recognizing it, and realizing, that with God’s help, I’m stronger than it and it’s not going to bring me down.
I know most of my readers are women, so I am sure I’m not alone in this situation. How do you handle the frustration? Do any male readers struggle with it too?
When I tell Dave, he looks at me like I’m out of my mind.
There’s more that I want to write on this, but I’ll save it for tomorrow!