Sunday, June 27, 2010

Racing Ellipticals and My Journey to Peace with My Body

Evan and I have started our road trip, and we are hanging with family in Ohio. This morning we got up and exercised in the hotel gym. It has been a while since I've worked out in a gym. I've been spoiled by having an elliptical at home, and I've forgotten about the sociology of gym workouts. I was in the workout room, and halfway through my workout another woman came in, and it happened. The race. At first it was a gradual speed up, but by the time that Evan came back in from the pool my new workout buddy was in a dead sprint. Why do we do this? I understand and appreciate a healthy competitive spirit, but are we working out for our own inner peace and health or to beat others? I have been everywhere on the spectrum of healthy living. I have struggled with all sorts of disordered eating and exercising since high school, and I am proud to say that I have found a place of peace with my body (most days). I did crazy crash diets, starved myself, binged, and punished my body with insane workouts. God willing, those days are behind me. I've maintained the same weight for over 5 years now after doing Weight Watchers....I'm a size 8 and God's creation. I say this not to brag, but to encourage. Ladies, a healthy mentality about our body is possible! Years ago I went to a women's conference, and Rachel Backert made a novel point about exercise that has become my mantra, "Workout because you are beautiful not because you feel like you need to become beautiful." I've spent year punishing myself thinking - how many calories am I burning? Will I look good in a bikini now? How much more enjoyable is exercise if you (dare I say it) genuinely enjoy it? I am still on this journey, but will you join me ladies? Let's push ourselves, but stop feeling like we are each other's competition. Let's stop racing ellipticals. We are unique and wonderfully made. "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14.

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