August 10, 2008 by Jo
Jeff loves to exercise. LOVES it. His weekly “Jeff Time” is spent exercising. It is his firm belief that everyone should be in a good sweat for at least half an hour EVERY DAY to be at their optimum health. He believes that there is simply nothing better than a nice long run, or an hour on weights, or a couple hours spent playing basketball with his buddies. Plus, it’s a huge benefit to him since he’ll probably suffer from high blood pressure and heart problems at some point (it’s hereditary). He makes his health a priority because he wants to be here for me, for the kids present and future, for the long haul.
Since we began dating he has challenged me to exercise. I simply would not jump on the train to Sweatsville, even though I knew the benefits from the few times I’d worked out with him. I have no need to lose weight (I’m 128 and 5’7″, just for information’s sake)…in fact, I really like my body the way it is. So despite my knowledge of the great reasons to work out and sweat, I just didn’t care enough to make it a priority.
But then, I ran into my friend Katie. LET ME TELL YOU…Katie is totally amazing. One of the most sincere people you’ll ever meet, with such a sunny personality and welcoming disposition. When she and her husband found out they were expecting their first child, we all got together and decided to throw them a big couple’s shower. LET ME TELL YOU…when she walked in, 7 months pregnant, I could not believe how GREAT she looked. Her body looked so healthy! She had approached her pregnancy in such a healthy way…exercising daily, practicing yoga, eating right…her life had so much BALANCE.
It was at that moment that I realized how important taking care of your body is. It is the only thing we really have on Earth that we’ll ALWAYS have, and we’ve got to make taking care of it a priority. We can’t fall prey to whatever it is that stops us from stepping up…laziness, low self-esteem, whatever.
So as part of my life-change in getting ready to move into married life I came under the conviction to start exercising and simply treating my body better. There’s not much in my routine to change; I haven’t eaten fast food since Jeff and I started dating (and have seen my body, skin, and hair totally change for the better) and I haven’t had dark soda since I quit my last full time job (when I was drinking 3-5 Dr. Peppers a day and living at the most insecure level ever) and again it has totally impacted how I breathe, feel, and sleep.
So the obvious last thing to accomplish before I feel my absolute best? Daily exercise. I bought a bike and did a couple short rides around my hilly neighborhood, sweated out the 3.5 mile ride to Jeff’s today and plan to do the 2.2 miles to work a couple of times this week. I’ve got a set of small weights and there’s a yoga class at the new YMCA downtown that I really want to make time for.
I guess that’s the crux of it all…making time. Prioritizing. I want to get better, physically. I want to be stronger, sleep better, and have time to myself that is productive. I want to spend time with Jeff doing something HE enjoys. But most of all I just want to be better and feel better about myself…and I will make it a priority because the outcome will be worth it. And I won’t lose myself to the demons of laziness, which seem to be my biggest downfall…with my insane work, theatre, and volunteer schedule, as well as wedding plans, helping Jeff, being a mom-in-training, church, and family, it is easy to sleep late or plop down on the couch as soon as I get a free moment. So I vow not to fall prey to what I’ve seen so many others fall prey to and actually follow through on this promise to myself…
…and I’ll feel the better for it!