Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good for the Soul

It's no secret that I hate exercise. I maintain a decent diet and eat lots of fruits and veggies, but I still tend to get really hung up on body image. If I feel bad about the way I look, it affects my entire attitude.

But my dear, sweet neighbor, Carol, is doing her part to help me change my attitude. Carol is an incredible woman. She is a former aerobics instructor and P.E. teacher, and she teaches swim lessons as much as 60 hours a week during the summer. She runs marathons, teaches a wellness class at church, mentors 10 women, takes continuing education at local colleges, volunteers at a nearby pregnancy care center… and much more. She and her wonderful husband Don introduced us to our church, Lake Pointe, by bringing over a care package of chips and salsa and some church brochures shortly after we moved in. They have blessed our lives so richly in just the short time that we’ve known them.

Carol is an overflowing fountain of energy, and when I mentioned to her that I was looking for a way to get in shape and relax, she invited me to a yoga class she heard about through her granddaughter’s dance studio. Well, it wasn’t just yoga. It was yoga fusion – a mix of fast-paced hip hop, aerobics, weights and cardio, all in a really hot room. The only “yoga” aspect is the last two minutes when we breathe deeply and say “Namaste!” It’s a great workout, and a really good jump start to my fitness routine.

Tonight yoga was canceled, so Carol asked if I’d like to go on a walk with her instead. I agreed, but I should have known that a “walk” by Carol’s definition is more like a jog in Katie’s world. We speed-walked around the neighborhood for 33 minutes and I felt like I ran a mile or two! (I try not to let on… Carol barely breaks a sweat!) Here’s a picture of me and my fitness-loving neighbor/friend at a ladies’ Christmas party at church last year:

It's hard to argue that exercise is good for the body and the mind. And when you’re like me and struggle with a negative body image, it’s good for the soul. Most of us who have grown up in the church know this verse, and it really rings true:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I want to arrive at a place where my goal is to honor God with my body. I’m on my way there, but I’m not there yet. I’d still like to have a body like… Evangeline Lilly or Rachel McAdams or January Jones!

I had dinner with some good, Jesus-loving girlfriends last night and we ended up talking about our insecurities. One of my friends recommended this book, Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You. I came home and immediately one-clicked it on Amazon! It should be here before the weekend. I look forward to reading it.

Lord, I’m yours. Help me to truly honor You with my life, including in the way I take care of and view my body!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I LOVE this post! I totally agree. We are so fed with crap by the media about how to look. I am glad you don't look like January Jones' boney little frame!

That book you 1-clicked sounds amazing!!! Let me know how it goes!

My hubby-man is so good to me. He knows my past with struggling with my body image to the extent of idolatry, so he won't even let me read magazines in the grocery store check-out. He doesn't want me to let my mind go there. And he is so right! Focusing on how I wish I looked is pointless and frustrating. But focusing on goals and exercising to be healthy is good for me! Exercise really is fun, I remind myself! I do like it and it makes me feel so good(this is my 6pm pep talk)!

Love you and your sweet heart!