Take time to think about fitness. (photo-Eric Nopanen)
My Problem The problem is this, I have always been active and careful with what I eat, but at my age, it’s not enough. A few inches have crept in, and a few pounds have been added on. It happened gradually. I gave birth to 3 children and continued eating as if I was still in my twenties. Truth is I don’t burn up as many calories as I use to. So how do I get those inches and pounds off? My Past I have to step back a bit and look into my past to answer that question. You see when I started college in the US many years ago I gained 30 pounds in 6 months. It was horrible for me because nothing fit, and I hated what I saw in the mirror. I was barely 18, and my parents were in South America. And so I ate to handle all the stress. What motivated me to change was that I was going to go home for the holidays and I couldn’t bear the thought of all the comments about my weight gain. But how can you quickly lose what took 6 months to gain? The answer is, you can’t. It takes time to lose weight in a healthy way. My Mindset Then I had to look at my mindset and see that it was all me centered. I’d have these worries about a test and fears that I would fail and so I’d grab a half pound of M&M’s and eat the whole bag as I studied. I’d reach a point where my jaws would hurt from chewing, and I’d still press on and eat. I didn’t even like what I was eating after a while. And with every worry or feeling of homesickness, the scenario of overeating would be repeated. I had found a short-term solution for dealing with pain. Only the pain wouldn’t go away. The thing is God has always been important to me. But it was my first time on my own, and I wasn’t prepared to handle the stress of it all. There was a disconnect between my beliefs and my actions. The fact that I would have to face my family and hear their comments made me turn to my Bible for direction. Psalm 139:14 spoke to me. It says: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Accept My Body I knew that if I didn’t accept my body as it is, that my body is wonderfully made, I would not be able to lose weight in the long term. I determined that I would not let any negative comments from my family and friends back at home set me back. I memorized Psalm 139:14 and it helped me when I heard my mom say, “Oh my, you’ve gained weight.” I didn’t lash back, make excuses or become sarcastic. I simply followed a diet I set for myself. It took me a full year, but I lost the 30 pounds. I’m at the point that I need to revamp what I’ve been doing. My body doesn’t need as many calories, but my body does need more exercise. I’ve become a little flabby. I also have aches and pains that weren’t there twenty years ago. Consider these points to have a right mindset for fitness:
- Accept yourself as you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
- It takes effort. “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” Charles Spurgeon
- Move one step forward. “If you’re running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you’re trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365, and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating.” Charles Swindoll
- Start with something you enjoy. For example, if walking is the only thing you like, then go walking but amp it up by walking uphill.
- Make a self-assessment. Take a look at where you’re at physically. This is where a health check by a medical professional would be helpful. Track your weight, BMI, and etc. so that you can have a point of reference for later on to see how you’ve progressed.
- Keep a food log. Until we track what we eat it is easy to trick ourselves into thinking that we are eating much less than we are. I recommend this for a short time, just to get an honest look at what we are eating and drinking.
- Get an accountability buddy. A community is key. We can help each other out when we stumble.