surprising myself

It’s been really cool to see a friend of ours on the show Excess Baggage – especially to see the difference it has made and continues to make in her life. Go Sarah!

We’re all made different and for whatever reason, weight isn’t something I have had to struggle with so far in life. I feel for my friends who do. Women apparently naturally gain weight as they age, so losing weight (even only a little) just seemed too hard.  When clothes stopped fitting I just gave them away.

I never thought I’d call myself a gym junkie. But these days, I kinda am.

anti-gym

I’d always been against gyms for two main reasons:

  • why choose exercising at the gym over exercising outside in the fresh air?
  • way too many people pay for gym membership with good intentions but then stop going and lose money.

A bit over six months ago, I joined the gym around the corner from our new place. Truth is, I like going to the gym a whole lot more than expected. As far as my first objection goes, fresh air is all very well, and I do occasionally still go for walks/runs provided the weather conditions are appropriately aligned…not too hot, cold, windy, rainy, stormy etc. These are no longer good excuses to sleep in or slouch on the couch.

beyond gym membership cynicism

My gym is not your ordinary gym, it’s a Curves gym, and despite initial skepticism…(a) would a women only gym be totally weird? (b) would I get bored with doing the same circuit every visit? and (c) would I give up and lose money?!

At least for me, the answer to (a) is no, and there are lots of reasons for this – but I think there is a sense of “we’re all in this together” and after six months it just feels normal. The sight of a man in there would be weird. I like that women from my community of all ages, shapes and sizes feel comfortable there and there’s no mirrors. I like that too.

As far as (b) goes, in all honesty, sometimes it does get a bit monotonous, but  simply going through the motions is really all I’m capable of at 6.30 in the morning!

When it comes to (c), putting the membership to waste hasn’t been a problem for me (and to be honest, isn’t likely to be), especially because I have an overactive guilty conscience and I’m pretty careful with money.

when achieving is a good thing

Curves records my every visit and rewards certain milestones and achievements and running competitions with good incentives from time to time. As I have learned with surfing, life isn’t defined by achievement, but in the gym, I’ve found a place where my natural inclination can be channelled towards more positive ends. I feel a sense of achievement in the very fact of going and regular exercise seems to fulfil its promises to my mental and physical well-being. I have muscles where I didn’t before, I’ve hardly been sick since I started going, releasing all those endorphins (I think that’s right – thanks high school PE) seems to be helping make me a more positive person most of the time and I’ve dropped just a little weight.

happy boat

Despite all this, my husband says that he would prefer to be married to a ‘happy boat’ than a skinny sad stick. While he sure has a unique way with words, I’m thankful for his unconditional love and the reminder that when all is said and done, this body will be made new and my outward appearance isn’t God’s priority – he cares about my heart. I think it honours him to look after my body, but what he wants is for all of me to be head over heels for him. Like Mary in John 12 as she poured the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Totally adoring.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to brave my second Zumba class at the gym…

This post is dedicated to two of my friends in the UK – to Tiffany, for enlightening me with the above photo, and to Bek, for loving Curves even more than I do. 

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