Keeping Fit: Vanity or Health?

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I am petite 5’1” woman who tips the scales at 110 pounds. The ideal weight for me would be 100-105 pounds. So, I’m five pounds overweight at 110. This number did not bother me at all. I’m fine with the extra 5 pounds. I was secured until a series of events made me think twice.

One day I noticed that I am starting to have a bulge in my tummy. Most women probably have that post-pregnancy bulge and having washboard abs was not a priority. However, that bulge became fuller and obvious. Before I could easily cover it up but recently it could no longer hide it. I also became aware that my lower body (thighs and hips) are expanding.  You see, I have this favorite pair of skinny jeans that I love to wear almost every week. I look good in that pair of skinnies.  One day, as I was getting ready to go out I couldn’t close the button without tucking the belly fat in! It’s confirmed, I am gaining weight faster than a speeding bullet.

I contemplated on what I have been doing lately that’s making me gain those extra pounds? First, we used to have stairs in the apartments we rented. So going up and down those 15 or so steps became my regular exercise. Now we live in my father’s house, it’s a bungalow! Second, we used to walk to and from my father’s house when we were still living independently. Now that we’re here, no need to walk. Third, my father has a helper who stays with him and now my chores were reduced because she helps me with some of my daily tasks. Fourth, I’m still stressed but on lesser degree. Fifth, I have growing kids and they eat almost every 3o minutes. I end up snacking with them too! Bad, bad, bad!

I have shared this to my husband and he reassured me that I could easily loose the weight if I do something about it. So, what will I do? I thought of going back to walking/jogging every morning. In fact, I could walk the dog too and we both get the exercise we need. Another idea was to do biking instead of walking. After days of planning and mind-setting, I haven’t worn my running shoes yet.

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Last Friday, I was preparing for the kids coop, I put on my floral leggings and my white linen blouse. When Coby saw me he asked me “Are you going to wear that?” Puzzled, I asked him why.  He looked exasperated and said, “Can you change your blouse? It’s too short. I don’t like people feasting their eyes on your this (pointing to his behind).” Embarrassed, I chose a longer blouse, this time covering my “behind”. I asked his approval, “Is this okay with you?” He still doesn’t look pleased but said, “Ok, better than the other one.”

As we were waiting for Peewee to meet us at the mall that afternoon, I was taken aback at what Coby said. “Mama, why don’t you do Zumba again?” My eyes grew wide and fearfully asked this little man, “Why?” Without batting an eyelash he blurted, “Well, you’re getting a little (his hands were making the shape of a ball) rounder? You should really go back to Zumba.” Disappointed and ashamed I replied, “Yeah, I think I need to exercise again.”

So this morning, I did not go back to bed when Peewee left for work. I started my quiet time earlier and put on my workout clothes. Played my favorite exercise video and was huffing and puffing after an hour! They say that exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones produced by the body that gives a natural high. Well, exercise did set my mood for the day. I was not only energized, but I completed the task set for me today.

Just to add to my “healthier lifestyle” I had low-fat, high-fiber cereal with skim milk and fruit for breakfast. My addiction to white bread has probably added to my recent weight gain that’s why I shifted from white bread to wheat. But then the healthier snack choice would still be fruits which is a staple at our home.

Jianne's art project at the SPARKS Homeschool coop

Ultimately, there is more to planning what cardiovascular activity to do or menu to prepare. I should set my heart to commit to doing it! I must commit to exercise 30-60 minutes a day/at least five times a week and commit to eating healthy. I have declared this online so I have to walk my talk.

I am reminded that what I do with my body is my form of worship to God. Since he let me borrow this body, how will I care for it?

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. I Corinthians 6:19-20

So, to you who’s reading this post now. Can I ask you to cheer me on as I commit myself and start a new healthy lifestyle? My goal is not have that bodacious bod or be as skinny as an 18-year-old girl. I am the least vain person in the world, ask my mom. I believe a woman’s worth is not measured by her waistline! A woman’s worth is determined by God who sees all his creation as beautiful no matter what size or shape they are. I’m doing this because I want to be healthy not only for myself but for my family as well. I’m already 40 and I want to grow old gracefully 🙂

How about you? Have you committed to dieting and exercise in the past or recently? What concrete steps did you take to achieve your goal?