I just finished reading the book “The Missionary Call” (see below) and one of his points hit home. In his discussion on being ready to serve in the waiting period before “going” on missions, he mentions something I hadn’t thought of: physical health. Really, it does make sense that if you want to be totally ready to serve God you should be ready physically, but it just never occurred to me. I had always taken the apostle Paul’s comment in 1 Cor. 9:27 “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” as metaphorical for the Christian walk. Discipline does include exercise, I think, so I have been working out regularly for about three weeks now. (ps – we’re not on a diet, just trying to cut down on snacks and total calories)
I’m not just trying to get in shape for missions, although that’s a good reason. Actually, we signed up for a YMCA membership in the fall (through their Open Doors discount program) but somehow we just weren’t in the habit of going. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time now, but having been pregnant 5 times in 7 years there is only a certain amount of exercise I have even been capable of. The “pregnancy diet” is great for losing 30-40 pounds in a few weeks…but that’s after having gained it in the first place! And once you have kids, there is only a certain amount of time you can exercise unless you take the kids along. That is one thing I am loving about the YMCA: their Child Watch program. Up to two hours a day, they will watch my kids while I exercise…for free! Without this program, I would still be sitting around wishing I could work out. Big thumbs up!!
The main reason I have been wanting to get back into shape is my kids. I want energy to keep up with them, strength to carry them around and flexibility to tussle on the floor with them… without pulling something! And…there’s another reason. I want to fit into an adorable black dress I found that is one size too small for me right now. Since Nathan and I are starting dance classes, I want to be able to dance _and_ dance in this dress!
I think that, for women, talking about their weight is way more taboo than their age. So I’m breaking taboos all over the place here but I am going to be open: I am 33 and I weigh 180 pounds (plus or minus 5 depending on the day). My BMI is 29, definitely in the overweight category. Since the “healthy” weight for my height is approximately 150, and I have only ever weighed that once as an adult (and that was due to not being able to eat for a week!), I am not aiming for a number particularly. Instead, I want to touch my toes with ease, walk upstairs with a child in my arms without puffing horribly at the top, swim 2000 meters without stopping and …fit into that dress. 🙂 Given my “German peasant” genes (my stepfather’s somewhat accurate term) I don’t plan on working any particular group of muscles too much except my abdomen and back; in the past I learned that my particular body “bulks up” very quickly. While I am no longer at the season of life where I need worry about scaring guys with my muscular strength (it has happened in the past ;)) I don’t really wish to be strong, just in shape.
So after the first most horrible three weeks, where am I? Loving it! I still have a ways to go but I can touch my toes without pain again, I have noticed a definite increase in my energy level, and I don’t get the “twitchy leg” syndrome I would often get at night from lack of exercise. I’m hoping that blogging about this will help me stay committed – I want to be able to say in a little while: The Dress Fits! 😛