Thursday, January 27, 2011

It Is Well - Part 3: Fit or Flight?

In the spirit of honesty there are certain facts that truly must be shared. According to the BMI chart for women I should weigh 50 pounds less than I do. Basically, after plugging in my height and weight, the darling little online calculator has this gem for me: A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. Being obese increases your risk for serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. See your doctor to learn how to manage your weight.

Nice. Lovely. This news gets me so excited I feel like having hot cocoa and a cruller. Wanna come to my pity party? Actually, it's not news. It's old and repetitive like an 80's ballad that won't stop getting airplay. "Time after time..."

Since beating my personal dragon and getting my driver's license, I find myself tempted beyond sense and reason to pile the kids in the van to take Murron to school. Not a big deal, you might think, plenty of other moms drive their children around. Okay, then, do these "other" moms drive their kids a quarter mile to school? 440 yards. 1320 feet. 0.40233 kilometers. In my defense, this has only happened in the rain, so far, but the lure to take the easy way is hard to resist, some days. I suppose that's why it's a good thing that we only have one multi-passenger vehicle. It forces me to pop the kids in the jogging stroller, instead, and walk half a mile. It's not very impressive, I know. I should be continuing my walk around an extra half mile, or whole mile, or even five miles. I don't but I should.

I don't because it's not attractive or interesting. The entertainment value of a brisk walk for exercise is, in my opinion, like polishing silver or raising chickens. We don't own silver and chickens definitely don't want me in charge of their upkeep. Ever. Bill, on the other hand, not only enjoys a brisk walk but he runs to work, runs home from work, runs around the city, runs on the treadmill, and runs half marathons. It's kind of like he's running from something, and I suppose he is. He's running from the weight he used to be because he knows it could catch up to him if he doesn't. He's running from the health issues that have caused him to take prescribed medicines. He's running from depression, negative emotions, and real or imagined demons. He's become very good at it, too.

So, I ask myself often why I run to confort, pleasure, food, or ease. What do I really fear about exercise that I am so easily drawn to what's most convenient, at the time? Why do I avoid healthy changes to my physical activity level and instead maintain my lazy habits? When will I get tired of my tight waistbands and fatigue and fight back with running shoes and resolution?

My thinking is what needs to change the most before I see any physical changes in myself. I have to see exercise and activity as the committment to discipline it really is. And that, I know, is what I'm most afraid of and have run the farthest to escape. But, in so doing, I have run to things that have not been beneficial and have actually done me little good. Sure, food and comfort are important, and pleasure enriches our lives. But having neglected to balance these things with disciplined activities has resulted in a level of gluttony that goes beyond gorging. No, I am not consuming whole pies and pizzas but I will admit that I nibble on sentiment and nostalgia of my slender past. I stuff my mind with self-pity and regret over mistakes. And I overfeed on excuses and jusitfications. The results of this unhealthy mental and emotional binging is a wild and dangerous craving that cannot be satisfied.

The only certain effective weapon is committed daily active discipline, both in body and spirit. To successfully defeat this unruly appetite I must fight energetically, on my knees and on my feet. I need to oppose those things that would prevent my victory with every scripture I've learned and memorized and each aerobic set and rep. Avoiding the urge to flee I need to persevere in all my efforts to be fit in every way. I know that excess weight, health issues, and depressed thinking will always be on my heels, trying to catch up. But if I exercise my will and keep my thoughts set on my goal then I can stay ahead of my pursuers and be ready for the tasks that God has for me.


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