Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Don't Act SO Surprised...

but yes, it's true...I'm working out." That's how the conversation went down when I first told my dad that me and my husband have started working out together. And while his reaction was humorous, could I blame him for being so surprised?

If you know me, have seen me, have wrapped your fingers around my tiny wrists, have commented on just how puny my arms really are, then you know that regular exercise for me has historically been non-existent. (Just ask Jen - she wooped me everytime I tried to take her when we were growing up!) Oh, I used to proudly claim that I DID workout since, after all, I was in marching band...for a whopping two years. But realistically speaking, "working out" and "exercise" have never been in my daily routine, much less my daily vocabulary. However, my husband bought our workout program three weeks ago, and I must brag on him for doing his research. With the countless fads, most of which are completely unbelievable, one might deem it nearly impossible to find a reputable exercise routine. Not only that, but how many of us have actually taken the steps to ordering a brand new system, get all excited and ready to get fit...only to watch whatever we bought sit in the corner gathering dust weeks later. My husband spent months researching a particular workout system prior to making the purchase, and he not only found one that we could easily follow along with but one that also works fairly well with our hectic work and school schedules. While I am not using this as a platform to advertise, I can at least tell you that it works. It sounds so cheeseball to say, but if it works for someone like me, weakling that I am, it can work for anyone!

So why did I start working out with my husband, and why does this one program work so well for me? Those questions must be asked together, and hopefully you will quickly detect why when you consider my reasoning and approach to working out:
~Me and my husband -- My time with my husband is limited. With both of us still in school and me working full-time, our moments spent together seem fleeting most days. Working out together not only prevents us from having to work out alone, but also provides an opportunity for us to make the most of our time together. There is no other person who can encourage quite like your spouse can, and this holds true for mine. He is encouraging, challenging, and spurs me on to persevere. I am more than encouraged that my husband sees beyond self-centered attainment in matters pertaining to exercise and personal stewardship.
~Skinny does not equal being in shape -- So I am skinny compared to some. While I am rather pear-shaped (thanks to what my momma gave me), I can look at my arms and upper body and know that I am smaller than some. I finally got tired of people commenting on how thin I am, all the while telling myself that they don't know the real me. Some of the comments come from people who don't know that I am a lover of sweets and that I have spent many years of my life not caring one iota about health and fitness. Ask anyone who has ever suffered from some medical condition that would otherwise go undetected. There are countless things that can go wrong that cannot be seen externally, but that can be prevented through proper attention to our personal fitness. I know plenty of women who are far more healthy than I am and who also happen to have more curves and are at a higher weight. I think focusing on the weight and focusing on the external appearance is what gets people wrapped up in fads that never last. There has to be more to this whole habit of working out than obsessively counting calories and stepping on the scale, right?
~This one body, this one life -- I have no idea how much I weigh right now. As a matter of fact, I don't care to know how much I weigh right now. Regardless of how thin I appear to those around me, what does it matter of I know deep down that I am horrible when it comes to personal stewardship? What does it matter if, beyond what everyone else knows or thinks they know about me, I know that I have potentially wasted years in this lifetime? Now, of course, in God's sovereignty there is ultimately no such thing as wasted years, but there is a right and biblical way to look at one's past. I have a track record of not taking care of my body, and, to be bluntly honest with myself and anyone else, that is not glorifying to the Lord. Being thin doesn't automatically mean that someone must be healthy and in shape. In fact, I have come to realize that sometimes having certain "thin genes" can be more dangerous when it comes to making excuses and not disciplining yourself.

While we have only been at this workout program for two weeks, that is two weeks more consistent than I have ever been in the past. I go home every evening and look forward to whatever DVD we are going to exercise to for that evening. I can also attest that everyone is different, and everyone is attracted to and responds differently to different kinds of workouts. What matters is not the name of the system we purchased, not how quickly I can lose however many pounds, but rather than this body was created for a purpose. I did not earn good health, I do not deserve a blessed life, and I cannot work toward personal stewardship of my body without the ultimate goal in mind -- glorifying the Lord with the body He created. He breathed life into my bones, and my worship is lacking if I am not displaying thanks through such stewardship. May that be the motivation that aids in my perseverance, and may it motivate you if you are in need of such encouragement~


Sarah said...

I am proud of you guys! It is hard to get started, but once you develop the habit, it will be worth it!

And I get the same comments...."you are so skinny--I wish I was in shape like you." Uh, nope--not in shape. No endurance or muscle strength here! ;-) It is a total stereotype.

Panda-Mom said...

Well, this was a great post. Thank you. ; )

jennypen said...

Good for the newlyweds! I'm feeling a bit inspired, but, to be honest, I also KINDA wish I would have eaten my ice cream BEFORE reading "my worship is lacking if I am not displaying thanks through such stewardship." Maybe a bowl of cereal will make for a better snack tonight anyhow.

Amanda said...

good for you!! I've been working out too! yay for us! ;)

Adrian said...

When the baby gets on a more dependable schedule, Bill and I are planning on working out together. If I have to "work out", it's always much better with an accountability partner! I have to admit, my desire to work out is more based on fitting into my pre-pregnancy pants in time for pants-wearing weather. Health aside, it's a financial obligation!