I have decided to make some changes in my life over the last few years. It happens to everyone as they grow. Well, I suppose it doesn't happen to EVERYONE. We all know those few people who are stuck in a decade that they are continually chasing their tail, or bangs, or whatever vice they had during said era. But, for the most of us as we age, we evolve and pick up new knowledge and interests, and aches and pains as well as new needs. In turning the ripe old age of thirty this year I have decided, along with several close friends, to stop living as if I am twenty-one, in the way I eat and diet and exercise. I will not be rebounding after a night of staying up late pigging out. These days, too much chocolate means a hangover all of the following day. As much as I hate to admit it, some days I feel like the Tin Man. My joints are squeaky and I can't find the oil can!
My body won't forgive me for not getting the exercise it deserves like it did a decade ago. This epiphany occurred one morning when I woke up and realized I had convinced myself I was "bloated" (you ladies know what I mean) for a six month stretch. I am no doctor, but that doesn't seem possible. I am not twenty-one. I have to be careful what I put in, and I have to be sure and work it out. Exercise, like it or not has to be a key element in my day to day. If I don't get it, I don't feel well. Lord help me, I am tired and grumpy and no one likes me but Jesus.
Because He loves me, (this I know) I need Him every day, just like exercise. Otherwise, I am cloudy, and lazy and wandering. I don't have the drive, focus or intention. I am a better me with God. At twenty-one, I am not sure that I whole-heartedly understood faith, let alone did any sort of worship. But, things change. Life happens and you begin to realize, much like with the effects of food on your body, God can change your heart and your mind. There's a reason it feels good to run. There's a reason it feels good to pray.
Anytime you change your lifestyle, you change your surroundings, your habits and your relationships. If you're not going to eat bad food anymore, you're probably not going to dinner with someone who wants to eat at a buffet. That's not to say I don't enjoy a buffet sometimes. I AM human. The deeper realization is that you have to sort of "clean up" your habits. "Clean up" your friendships, in order to grow. Some people decide to only eat salad bar at the buffet before they eliminate it from their lives altogether.
There is a certain peace of mind you obtain when you do something that is good. When you help a little old lady reach the top shelf at the grocery store, or when you walk a mile after dinner, you feel better. If you forgive someone for something that was beyond hurtful, if you take a stand for something that you believe in, despite what people think or say, you feel better.
Making the conscious decision to change my every day life (my breakfast, lunch, dinner - be the best wife I can - try and be SuperMom - daily exercise regime - prayer time - church on Sundays - stop cursing so much - pray for people I dislike - see the good in others - read my Bible- LIFE) takes guts, gusto and great strength. People don't like change. Some relationships have to taper off. There are a handful of people who will love me no matter what I'm doing. THOSE are the ones who encourage growth. Everyone should be so lucky as I am to have them.
While my friends and Jesus love me even if I'm fat, my rusty joints hurt and the fact of the matter is some people will never understand. I have to cut my losses and trudge forward. The people who pull me back are the ones who have to eat my dust. I am not stopping or slowing down. I am joggling (hobble+ jog = joggle) toward a better tomorrow for myself. Do not remind me of the self-deprecating, buffet-devouring, faithless days of my past. This motivated Mamma is unapologetically moving forward, and not slowing down! I've got my joggling kicks on and I know how to use em! Paaa-raiszze Jesus!
Judgement will come soon enough without my two cents. I am saying that it feels good to feel better. It feels good to BE better. I encourage it for everyone to find a healthy center. I elect to love myself enough to actively participate in my life. Be better. If it were easy, everyone would do it and all of the buffets would close.
Exercise and Jesus, are so much alike.