Wednesday, September 30 2020 - 4:20 PM
Woman walking on treadmill
Photo by Dreamstime

Exercise Your Health

A chilly, spring breeze blew wispy strands of nut brown hair across my forehead. I readjusted my ponytail before grabbing my headphones and teal water bottle. I noticed an alarming number of cars in the parking lot and felt a nervous panic take over my body. I was dreading this moment, but I wanted results. Swinging open the door, I walked into a sea of people and machinery. Open ended stares greeted my entrance as I swallowed a lump in my throat. I was fully aware of how uncomfortable I felt.

I walked over to a treadmill, one of the only machines I recognized. Popping in my headphones, I panicked at the number of buttons in front of me. Relief flooded my body when I saw the “start” button. Why was I so self-conscious at the gym? After 30 minutes I cooled down with a few stretches before grabbing my belongings.

My gym routine lasted only a week before I surrendered to my previous lifestyle. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t fit in with the body builders and thin women in designer yoga pants. The gym felt like an exclusive club, and I felt like an outsider.

It took me quitting the gym and counting calories to realize that I’d been working out for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t necessarily interested in creating healthy habits as much as I wanted to lose weight. I wanted fast and unrealistic results and tried achieving this by going to the gym for no more than a week. Perhaps I fed too much into the cookie-cutter mindset that magazine models did lose 10 pounds in a week. But my stereotypical thinking trapped me into believing that a week at the gym would magically melt five pounds off. I didn’t consider healthy eating habits in my weight loss goal; I simply wanted to look “skinny.”

Every year I promise myself I’m going to lose weight and be in shape. And every year, I buy a gym membership, only to eventually quit out of frustration. I compare myself to others who look wafer thin and sporadically torture myself with diets. But, unfortunately, my efforts are in vain because I’m approaching the situation all wrong. I’m not in it to be healthy; I’m invested in my own vanity. It’s taken me this long to realize that although exercise is crucial, a healthy lifestyle is vital. We must eat the right foods if we wish to create and maintain a strong and healthy body.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV).

Our bodies are a temple and we should treat them as such. Unfortunately, I struggle daily with choosing the right foods, but I’m developing healthier habits. It’s natural to want positive results, but we must take care of our health in all forms. God has given each of us a body to love and protect, which includes what we put into it. How we treat our bodies now will determine our future and the results we desire.

Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.

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About Madeleine Lowe

Madeleine Lowe

writes from Indiana.

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