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My fitness journey to Hope and Health in Christ

Just wanted to share….

Where has my journey to fitness taken me? It’s taken me to so many places. I can’t even begin to describe the lessons I have learned. Through the 17 years of my life, I’ve climbed mountains, ran, biked, swam, and learned to appreciate God’s creation so much more. I realize how much the beauty that man tries to create will never match God’s beauty. I’ve run through many small towns, and made so many memories together with my running buddies, Bekah, Dan, and Beth. It’s been fun. It’s been challenging.

There have been so many times I wanted to sit down and give up. There have been so many times when I was gasping for air, and I just didn’t want to go any further. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to just cry and not stop. There have been times when the sun is beating down so hard, I feel like I could just melt into the sidewalk and not have to go through any more misery.

I’ve run many distances. I used to want to do it to boast about how “fast” I was or how “far” I’d run. Not any more. I still have a goal to improve but not to boast, not to “wow” everybody. Exercise has humbled me, especially when my 19 year old brother is about ½ a mile ahead of me and I’m going the fastest I can. It’s been a wonderful experience in growing closer to both my brother and sisters.

It’s a discipline that’s also taught me how important physical and spiritual exercise are and how much I suffer without them, especially spiritual exercise. I’ve overcome the desire to idolize my body and not take care of it. I’ve become more thankful for God’s wonderful gifts

I am so thankful that God has seen fit to give my a body that has taken me 1000s of miles on my legs and 1000s of miles on my bike. I’ve learned the balance

A lot of fitness today centers around yourself, around the Greek idea of the “gumnasium” where naked men and women flaunted their bodies to each other. We’re no longer sensitive to the principles of modesty and not stumbling each other. Running professionals say to “love” yourself and to “pamper” yourself.

I take the opposite view on this. Instead of loving yourself, which eventually makes people more depressed because they find no fulfillment in themselves.

Weight is not an issue and shouldn’t be an issue. Christian’s issues should be coupled with desires to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and to tell you the truth, weight will follow. If we strive to eat what God intended for us to eat, in moderation, thankfulness, and a happy heart for what God has given us, I believe that God would bless us in helping us to be healthy and happy in Him.

For most of my child life I wasn’t worried at all about weight. I just kind of ate. I was never overweight, never thin, just average. I’ve always had a more muscular frame so I’ve always weighed more than what I should “weigh” on the boxy charts they give everyone like 5’0 – 100 pounds and add 5 pounds for every inch after that for women. I was 4’10” and 100 pounds at 12, but I still didn’t ever look fat.

Around 14, I became more convinced of exercising regularly. Our family got a stationary bicycle on December 2007. I rode it everyday consistently for 20 minutes. I don’t really remember how much I weighed then. I was 5’2” and something “pounds.” I don’t know, and I didn’t really care. My guess was I was around 115-117? I could be wrong.

I don’t remember exactly how and I’m sure I don’t really mind that I don’t remember. But I got or rather fell into the ditch of calorie counting. I started to scrutinize every calorie. I figure I was probably eating about 2000 a day at that time. That’s when I lost weight and hit my lowest weight at around 103, 104? That’s when I finally realized that I needed to stop caring and be more thankful to God and glorify Him with my body instead of trying to glorify my body to glorify myself.

I think the reason this kind of hit me was that I had lost my period for about 6 months and was getting concerned. So I started eating more and leaving calories behind. In July of 2008 I was now about 108-110 pounds. I was going up but still wasn’t there yet. I was always hungry and just ate and ate.

I remember it almost like it was yesterday. My parents sat me down in my brother’s room in our basement. I knew something was the matter. I was thinking, “What did I do?” They confronted me gently about searching for calorie counts online, saying how I wanted to lose weight on forums online, etc.. At this point I was closer to 113-114 pounds. They encouraged me to maybe try to gain some more pounds to see if my period would return. I listened and boy did I listen. In about 5 weeks I was now at around 119 pounds, happier, healthier, and just had finished my first 25K at a 10:26 pace.

I continued to focus on glorifying God, reading my bible, focusing on His Word, meditating, and adding in exercise on the side. Exercise became less of a “must-do” and more of a fun thing, and it still is! I added in various races and PR’d in my 5Ks with my best PR at 23:38. I’m still hoping to shave that down to 21 at a 5k in about a month. I’m probably too hopeful, but I’m hoping.

My status now. I have my period back. I feel better. I don’t really calorie count anymore. I’m 5’3”. Yes I grew another inch. And I’m 127-130 pounds. Yeah, I’m not “normal” for my weight, but I don’t care, because it’s normal for me, and I’m learning to use my body to the utmost to give the utmost praise to my Lord, Savior, and King who has truly given me salvation from all my sins and bore the weight of my iniquities on the cross. I desire to place all my thoughts on Him and take all thoughts of self off me and love Him with all my heart. My fitness desire is to stay and remain healthy for my whole life so that I may always love and glorify my Savior and King!

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