#Write31Days – Oct 13 – Skinny

I was reading a magazine recently and saw this Q&A post: 

Self Magazine – 8/14

Body image is such a tricky subject for women. We look at someone else and think “I wish I had ___________” and that would make me ____________ (prettier, more desirable, fit in, beautiful, etc.).  It is hard not to compare yourself to an array of magazines and advertisements that are thrown at us on a daily basis. 

Remember:  They are dressed & styled by professionals for hours before that photo is taken. 
Then photo-shopped and edited to “perfection”.

I have been considered thin most of my life.  I am tall (5’9″) and if my weight fluctuates a bit, it’s not as noticeable to someone else. For that reason I have often received the “why do you even workout” question. Even though I get asked that question, no one really wants to hear the answer. 

That’s just like us though – to compare ourselves to someone and never really seek to understand a “why”.  This applies in so many areas of life.  (Posted last week on comparison and lies people let us believe about ourselves)  I have a friend who was constantly called “skinny” and to her that was a mean comment, even though most intended it as positive, though was always sort of back-handed compliment.  She couldn’t do anything about her size, and she grew to really resent the word “skinny”. 

I am sensitive to so many who have had/currently still dealing with body image struggles.  A couple of my close friends fight this on a regular basis. It is a real struggle every day to love and accept themselves.  So, I am very sensitive to women and being comfortable in your skin.  If there’s something you want to change, don’t go for a quick fix, make a lifestyle adjustment and slow and steady wins the race in this case. 

For me, here’s why I work out: 

  1. Heart disease runs in my family. If you aren’t aware, heart disease is one of the #1 killers of women in America.  Both my grandmother and my Dad have heart disease.  Unfortunately my grandmother died before I really knew her – I was just a baby.  I have seen my Dad undergo 2 scary heart incidents resulting in stents in his heart. So, this is in my family.  I want to do everything I can to prevent heart disease in myself. So, eating relatively well and exercise are a part of my routine.
  2. I have scoliosis.  Most wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I have a decent curve and from time to time experience back pain.  I wore a brace throughout High School at night for treatment during my growing years and that helped to stop my curve from becoming worse. Bless my Mom for not always making me take it to slumber parties, but I hauled it with me to every camp I went to. I am not going to point it out on a regular basis because there are certain things that I notice my curve in more than others and I choose not to draw attention to it.  However, the more active I am, the better I feel and my back doesn’t affect me.  So, exercise is a part of my routine. 
  3. Rheumatoid Arthritis runs in my family.  This is a disease of joints and I have watched my Mom suffer from the affects and seen her cope remarkably with great medication.  I am approaching the age where RA could affect me.  Again, I want my body to be as healthy as possible.  So exercise is a part of my routine. 
  4. Workouts are a way for me to work out stress and process things going on in my life.  I often times turn on my iPod to praise and worship music, head out for a jog and spend some time communicating with Jesus, oftentimes asking why, sometimes in tears, looking for answers, or peace, or to quiet my what-ifs, and on and on of 100 other circumstances that might happen in a day or span of days. Lyrics of songs remind me of His great love for me, of His perfect plan for me, of His hope, of His grace. This time is precious to me, it is just me and Jesus, in creation and I come back equally refreshed and drained. Hope encouraged, peace restored, physically drained.  So exercise is a part of my routine. 

As I am in my “late 30’s”, taking care of my body is more of a priority.  None of us are guaranteed our health. If disease strikes me, I want to be as capable to fight as I can be. I don’t have a magic formula, a daily/weekly routine. I just try to be active several times a week, a fast paced walk, a jog, a bike ride, plank exercises, weights, yoga…something to keep my body moving, get my heart rate up and do my best to take care of myself. I also try to eat relatively well.  That doesn’t mean I don’t indulge.  I love a fountain Dr. Pepper, but when I catch myself getting in a habit, I have to consciously decide to cut it off. 

We were all created to be unique, no two exactly alike.  Embrace who you are.  Seek to understand who others are and be careful what you question, you just might not know the sting you really cause in that question/statement. 

Above all, strive to be healthy, not to look like a magazine cover.


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