I started working out two days ago. Its been 3 years since I consistently pressed myself to move more.
Ouch.....It hurts.....Muscles being stretched back to places once familiar.....the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other and repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.......Discipline to do something every day, instead of every day that I feel like it.....
Why? Why do I want to do this? Why did I stop? What other areas of my life have I let go as slack as my abdominals? As atrophied as my triceps? As unconditioned as my heart?
Is working out a way to avoid other areas of my life that may be just as undisciplined and wildly un-reigned as the number on the scale?
Let me tell you about the last time that I worked on a healthy physical body. I met with a trainer, told him my weight and body mass goals. He did all the measuring and calculating,and then told me, "No. I don't want you to lose that much weight."
Basically he told me to increase my goal five pounds because I was going to train myself to build muscle. It takes longer, but it changes who you are, not just a number on a scale. And he was honest with me that this wasn't a "lose-weight-quick" deal and we wouldn't see the big results for about 4 months.
So get this. I worked out 5 hours a week, cardio and strength training. And after 1 month, I lost 5 pounds. Do you realize that means I spent 25 HOURS of time to see a 5 pound difference in my body?! The next month, with the same program, I lost 2 more pounds. 2 pounds for 25 hours! But this is perhaps why those trainers make the big bucks...because in months 3 and 4, I lost all the weight I wanted to.
Ya'll that means it took 100 HOURS of my time to reach my goals for physical healthiness. The month before I started working out, I had those same 25 hours. But I wasn't using them to change my life. Why would I think it would be any different with spiritual health? or marriage health? or parenting health? or friendship health? or family health? But in those areas of my life, I tend to want to throw a book at them. Read it for 15 min, a few times a week and expect results. Teach my kids a few Bible verses a year, and expect them to love obedience. Be patient every now and then and wonder why people think I'm inconsiderate? What might happen if I spent 25 hours a month purposely doing the opposite of what has become routine?
Change is hard. Change is not a quick fix. Change that lasts doesn't take a few minutes when we feel like it, but hours and hours of time doing something we may not see the results of for months.
I actually LOVED working out (especially with you, Karen B.)! I loved the "time away", the "me time", I loved that I could read a book on the elliptical machine. I loved the babysitting included at my gym!
This time around I'm doing it differently. Without my little escapism tendencies. I'm doing it with my kids, or with my husband, or with whomever is around to talk during real life hours, not the hours when I'm "off duty". I'm going to try to bring health to several areas of my life at the same time, instead of using one area to avoid the others. It's harder. It might take longer. The pain will be vast.
But for today, I'm relating the tension and soreness I feel in my calves to the uncharted thoughts and emotions that come when my old relational habits start to rebel against the new ones: thoughts that accuse others and deny responsibility, thoughts that think this will never work, thoughts that claim it's not even worth the effort.
Man, my calves are aching today. Lord, teach me to not fear the pain. Here's to life change....