There's so much that I want to write about and share. Again, I reserve the right to jump around in my story. I think sometimes it's better to cover things by topic, so this post will be about: Exercise.
Learning to exercise the body I was given.
I am not naturally athletic and coordinated. Whatever I do, it is from hard work and practice. I had the privilege of being in sports since a young age because of my older brother. He wanted to play baseball and my parents found it was good to have all three of us in sports. My little brother and I weren't that expensive because we were just added on.
When I was younger I did gymnastics and took a year of dance. I loved it but it was SO expensive, so I had to quit by the time I was about 10 or 11... I think. I played little kid softball and was terrible. My soccer team won absolutely NO games. We tied twice.
Moving up into middle school and high school I began to play basketball. Again, at the influence of my amazingly athletically gifted older brother. We were home schooled, so we pretty much had to start our own sports teams so we could play the other schools. I will take pride in the fact that it's now a whole athletic association. Back then it was just my brother's junior high team. I was put on the girls team. I played basketball for four years and absolutely loved it. Those were my best memories in home schooling. That was my one real regret about going to public school, missing out on the home school sports. The last year or two I also played volleyball and fell in love with that even more. If I had a choice today I would play volleyball over basketball, but I still love them both.
So exercise was sort of naturally a part of my life. When I went on that first diet I mentioned in this post exercise became very easy for me. Running was easier, I was quicker as an athlete, things were looking up. And then with the beginning of public school all of that changed. My eating definitely was what caused me to gain weight, but with no exercise there was nothing to stop my weight from piling on. I remember doing the Atkins Diet for a while in November of that year. I decided I would run early in the morning and do the diet during the day. I was exhausted. I hated running because it was like I had picked up an extra 30 pounds and had to carry that with me. Try it, it's hard. Running has also caused me shinsplints throughout the years. So I would be fighting that off, running through the pain or trying to rest them and struggling throughout the day. The all protein diet didn't work for me because of the constipation. It was ridiculous, and painful. The lack of any kind of carbohydrate would cause me not to be able to function. That was when I realized that God gave us all the food groups for a reason. He provided this wide range of foods that we were meant to partake in. They are good foods with varying tastes, everything in moderation.
Everything in moderation. That has been a difficult phrase for me. I am not a naturally moderate person. I am an extreme person. If I'm going to do something I will do it all the way, if I feel like I can't do something, I give up completely and run the other way. Absolutely run.
I had to learn to be moderate in my exercise. Okay, I am not knocking the marathon runner, triathlete, or whatever. This is simply what I have learned about my body through the years. I abused it for years and now I am learning to respect the creation that God has given to me.
I mentioned earlier that in college I would overeat and then over exercise. I would often spend an hour on the elliptical and then sometimes go over to the stair-master for another 30 minutes. Sometimes I would do stuff for three hours. This was me just trying to lose weight quickly. I remember sitting in a piano lesson and thinking, why are my fingers not working right? They can play this song. Later, I realized that I had been gripping the elliptical machine for an hour and a half and these poor tiny muscles in my hands were fatigued. I would always pour sweat too. I'm a heavy sweater. So as far as water retention, I don't even know. I would try to drink at least 12 glasses of water a day. Sometimes I would drink more like 16 or 20. It was ridiculous. All this, to try to lose weight quickly.
Apparently I didn't learn the lesson of the tortoise and the hair. Slow and steady. Now I know that is the only way to lose weight. It has to be practically unnoticeable. I think that's the struggle with dieters, especially perpetual dieters, we want to see results of these difficult efforts and we want to see them now. I am queen of the perpetual dieting. By the end of the day, two days, maybe even a week, if I haven't lost weight I might as well eat a couple of bowls of ice cream and watch some movies where a skinny girl gets the guy. I'll try it again on Monday.
This is why I threw away my scale.
The scale was killing me. I was defining myself by a number on a machine. I would hope and pray each morning that the number would fall. Most of the time it stayed the same. If I had just eaten something it would go up, duh. If I hadn't eaten anything for a few days it would often go down or stay the same. Duh. Over time it would win either way. If the number went up I would give up on my diet and binge. If the number went down I would "reward" myself, I was okay because I had just lost a pound or two.
I decided that God was the one who knew my weight. It didn't matter what the number was, I wasn't going to live in denial and I wasn't going to be a slave to this little bathroom machine. I would simply listen to Him and ask Him if He was okay with my weight. With no scale to tell me if I was succeeding or not, it required me to live in a place of FAITH. Faith that His way of eating was best for me. Faith that I wouldn't gain massive amounts of weight if I didn't have a little thing in the bathroom pointing out my imperfections. And let me tell you, that faith has led to freedom. I don't care what I weigh anymore. Yes, I have stepped on scales at my parent's house in a moment of weakness, but honestly, it doesn't matter anymore. It's not a part of who I am. The last time I did step on a scale I was shocked because I haven't weighed this little in at least nine years. ... This is the redemption of my body. A process, PROCESS of faith. Which leads to freedom.
This was a lot longer post than I thought it would be. I'll have more to say about exercise and scales and things later. :) Thank you for reading.