I went for a jog this morning. Oh, let me rephrase that. My mind and my determination went for a jog this morning, but my jiggly belly and my pickle-sized lungs went for a gasping, wheezing limp around the neighborhood. I had my course set for the beach. I didn’t make it. And it’s a good thing too, because if I had, then the lifeguards would have discovered my collapsed body somewhere along the shore and heaved me “back” into the ocean.
Okay, I’m actually not a large person. In fact, most people call me “small”, and that’s only because they’ve never met my ridiculously slender mother and sister who, when you put them side by side, make up one me. I’m not large, but I’m sure solid. If anyone thinks of me as thin it is due to really strategic clothing camouflage. You know how an Almond Joy looks really smooth and slender when it’s still in the package and then you take it out of the wrapper and it’s just lumpy all over? Yeah, I’m kind of like that.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m big on motivators. Motivators help me keep up a healthy lifestyle. My last motivator was a trip to Maui with my husband and it worked like a charm. Now my motivator is something a little less exotic, but perhaps equally as stressful. The company Christmas party at my husband’s new place of work. Normally I would look at this as a fun excuse to hang around grown-ups for once and eat free food. But my poor husband is very excited about this party because he “can’t wait to show me off.” Yes, apparently my husband thinks I am some kind of trophy wife. Maybe this was true when we first were married and things hadn’t started sliding toward the floor yet and my ribs hadn’t separated due to two pregnancies. If I was a trophy wife before, I’ve turned into a trophy cup, and I’m in need of some serious polishing.
It would be easy enough to throw on a sweater and pretend that certain superfluous parts of me don’t exist, but this party is semi-formal and if I have to show my arms, I’d prefer that I not have to hold them away from my body all evening so that they don’t expand against my body when I rest them there. People may think I’m haughty if I’m walking around with my hands on my hips and my shoulders thrown forward all night in order to get the best all-around angle. My husband asked if I was going to wear a strapless dress and I laughed in his face. “Do you know what I look like without straps, when my big huge shoulders overpower my tiny little chest? The HULK. Straps will always be a part of my ensemble, Dear.” So let the calorie counting begin. Again.
I have to admit, my eating habits have improved significantly this year, despite my lack of willpower the last few months. I now know that half a sandwich, not whole, is sufficient for lunch and that there is sugar in EVERYthing, so I have to be very careful about ingredients, but even more careful about portion sizes. This is probably how I’ve managed to not gain back the weight, even though my body is slowly easing back into its previous Jell-O mold shape.
But the exercise, OH, the exercise! That is something that requires even more effort than eating right. It’s ridiculous that we have to set aside a time every day to exercise. 100 years ago, they didn’t have to try to exercise because all they did all day long was exercise! Gathering wood, planting, plowing, harvesting, washing, cooking, work work work! Whew! It makes me tired just to type it all. I think I’ll take a nap when I’m done here.
Unfortunately, my lungs never get to a point where it’s easy for me to exercise. Yes, I know. You’re going to tell me I have to build up endurance. Well, can it. I’ve heard it from my jog-easy husband for years. And every time he says it I remind him, “Every school year I went from playing volleyball to basketball to track. Shouldn’t I have built up some endurance by the time I was done? But no, I didn’t. By the end of the year I had run a jillion miles and I was still grasping my throat in pain and trying not to hyperventilate. Meanwhile all the smarmy popular girls would assume it was their duty to be ‘motivators’ and jog backwards in front of us, clapping their hands and saying, ‘C’mon, girls, keep going! Don’t give up now!’ It really was motivating. I tried with everything in me to speed up so that I could tackle them to the ground and shove dirt in their mouths just to shut ‘em up. ”
I hate exercise so much I want to punch it in the face. If I could pay somebody to exercise for me, I would. But I can’t. And unfortunately, I am the type that forgets just how difficult exercise actually is. In my head, I see myself coasting along the streets at a moderate pace, breathing in the fresh morning air and loving the feeling of my muscles working. In reality, I can only jog for about a block before I have to stop and remind myself to stop gulping in all that icy cold morning air so I don’t black out. And I don’t love the feeling of my muscles working, I HATE it! Who enjoys feeling like they are being tortured on the rack? Jogging makes me want to throw up, and I’m not speaking figuratively. Sure, afterward I feel good about working my muscles and stopping the atrophying process, but in the midst of exercising I would almost prefer to lie around for the rest of my life and turn into pudding.
I’m a lazy bum. It’s an indisputable fact. God gave me this healthy body and I am wasting it! How much time do I spend lounging around, reading or watching a movie, when I could be delighting in the outdoors, taking in the fresh air, the trees, the sky? No wonder I’m always such a grump. God didn’t intend for us to live like this. We are not meant to be sitting down all day, indoors, letting our bodies and our minds turn sour. Our arms and our legs are meant to move, not to be idle!
Okay, so I’m still not excited to do sit-ups or anything, but I definitely feel like I have much more motivation to get outside and move around! And a walk around the block is an excellent time to have a little one on one time with the Heavenly Father.
So excuse me, I have GOT to get out of this stuffy little room!
Lord, You are so good to us! I am very blessed to have all of these modern conveniences, but at the same time, I am not using all my freed-up time wisely. Instead I am becoming increasingly lazy. It’s so easy to make excuses why not to exercise, but it really is a blessing to be able to get out and get moving. Thank You for the beautiful scenery You have made for us! Thank You for our bodies that can bend and stretch and grow strong. Father, above all I want my days to be filled with You, but please keep me motivated to keep myself healthy at the same time, if for nothing else but to glorify You with a grateful heart for the ability to do so.