Why do I work out?
1) To get a mental break and feel so good about life in general.
2) To be healthy.
3) To stay attractive for my spouse.
Wait, whaaaaaaaaat???? Isn't that a sexist and belittling reason to stay in shape?
Well, allow me to explain.
|"Get ye to the gym, woman!"....is not what he commands.|
You see, back when Phil and I were dating, I was already a very physically active person who made exercise time a priority. Phil loved to play sports and worked an active job when he wasn't in class, which kept him fit and healthy. We both loved to eat and enjoyed delicious meals and yummy treats, but we were burning calories and had young metabolisms, and were able to stay fit without too much effort. Oh boy, did we eat a lot of pizza and fried mozzarella sticks back in the day!
We cleaned up our eating habits a bit before our wedding, because you know, looking good on one's wedding day (and night!) was a normal goal to have. We were pretty pleased with our results for the big day and left for our honeymoon in the Caribbean with our suitcases packed with bathing suits, and not much else.
|Rehearsal Dinner 2002|
I returned home from our honeymoon about five pounds heavier, we managed my parent's ice cream shop that summer (and ate our weight in ice cream), and I got pregnant with John-Paul a month after we were married! Needless to say, the pounds started adding up, the exercise started slowing down, and Phil was putting on sympathy weight right alongside me. Four kids in four years left us both looking and feeling a little bigger than we liked. We had officially let ourselves go.
And you know what happens when I don't feel good about the way I look? I'm much more withdrawn and unavailable to Phil because I don't want him to see me. I feel depressed and ashamed when I know there's something I could be doing to change it, yet choose not to. Does Phil make me feel that way? Of course not! But during times when I'm out of shape, I feel that there's no way he could be attracted to me.
So I made exercise a priority once again, trained for my first half-marathon, ate real foods and smaller portions, and eventually I looked like this:
I would love to get back to that level of fitness again, I felt so great!! And having a wife and mother that feels great about herself only benefits the family. I don't think that marriage should be an excuse to let yourself go. In truly loving someone, don't we want to give them our best, and shouldn't they want to give us their best? I'm not talking about the worldly viewpoint of a "perfect body" full of botox and plastic. I'm talking about a normal, healthy body that is treated with respect as it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Pregnancies, postpartum, breastfeeding, illnesses are all times that we may not be able to look a certain way, but we can still try our best to make healthy choices. I think our spouses deserve it. Yes, we promised each other for better or worse, in sickness and in health...but don't we want to give them the "better" and the "health" parts of that deal while it's in our control?
So I'm back on the bandwagon to lose this baby weight, feel good about myself, and be a happier person overall. I'm starting small, with walk/jog intervals or bike rides and this 7 minute workout (which can be repeated 2 or 3 times):
|Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 10 seconds between.|
I want to feel good mentally, be healthy, and feel attractive for my husband. Who's with me?