It has been several weeks since I posted a Get Fit Tip for Monday, so this week I thought I'd share my personal testimony as it attains to fitness! I'm going to put my deep dark secrets out there! :) (and slightly embarassing pictures, like the one above)!
When I was a child, I was very active, but I was always aware that I was a little chunkier than all my stick friends! I played outside all summer long and swam all school year long. During middle school, I started to put a little conscious thought into exercising, but never got serious about it. After all, I was still just a kid! I played basketball and volleyball and was in decent shape.
High school was when I did get serious about becoming fit. Unfortunately, I went about it in a very unhealthy manner for a couple of years. During my sophomore year, I started exercising rigorously (in addition to daily volleyball practice) and strictly limiting my calories. I would actually write down everything I ate to keep track of my calories. I remember restricting myself to 1,200 calories which was way less than I needed, especially with all of the exercising I was doing. A healthy weight for my height is about 130-140 lbs, and I was down to 110 lbs at my lowest! I probably maintained that low weight for a few months before I snapped out of it. All I can say is that it was the grace of God that I realized how unhealthy I had become!
I made a conscious effort to gain weight, but still kept working out. At about the time I was back to a healthy weight (about 130 lbs), I got more serious about running. I had really fallen in love with it! I loved getting some me time in with my headphones, jogging along parallel to the ocean (did I mention I grew up on a small island in Alaska?). Here's a picture of me jogging by the beach at home:
I kept telling myself that I had a healthy discipline in regards to running...but deep down I wasn't sure if that was really the case. I would NEVER miss a work out for fear that I would get fat. I new I had an addiction, that running had become an idol, but just couldn't break free of it. It was during my freshman year of college at SPU that I finally gained freedom from my running addiction. It took a lot of prayer and self-examination. Don't get me wrong, I still ran several times a week, but I wouldn't freak out if my schedule forced me to miss a work out. I got a tattoo to commemorate this huge feat in my life:
It's a picture of a cross with a pair of running shoes laying (lying?) at the bottom. It represents the moment when I overcame my addiction to running and re-established God as the number one priority in my life. Above the cross it says, "1 Cor 9:24 Run" The verse says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." To me that means that just as I run for a purpose (to stay healthy, and to win when I'm racing), I need to live my life with a purpose, to glorify God in all I do.
That was about 4 years ago, and I still love running and being active. I have done three marathons, three half marathons, and a handful of 5k's and 10k's. (Above are the post pictures from the Portland Marathon and Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham). Oh ya, I've also done a few triathlons! I also swim once or twice a week and do some DVDs at home. I can proudly say that I have never reverted back to an addiction to working out. I'm even more proud to say that I'm still disciplined in exercising about 45 minutes 5-6 days a week even after having my first baby 9 months ago! The whole process of being pregnant and having a baby has made me the most comfortable I have ever been with my body!
Honestly, I'm not sure if any of you will get anything out of this, but I just felt compelled to share my (hopefully brief and not too boring) story with you all! I guess the one piece of encouragement I have to offer is to find a way to be physically active that you enjoy and discipline yourself to do it on a consistent basis, but don't let it control your life!
I would love to hear any comments or thoughts that come to your mind after reading this!