I’ve always been a bit of a health nut.
Nutrition and fitness have long been interests of mine, and for the majority of my adult life I have loved to work out. It helps clear my mind, ease my anxiety, and instantly boosts my mood. Not to mention the physical bonuses, like curbing my sweet tooth (Seriously. When I’m actively working out, I find I crave less crap), maintaining my weight, managing hunger levels… I could go on and on.
I know. I’m weird. My mom and sister constantly tease me about it. But what can I say, I truly love to sweat.
But then life happened. Kids came into the picture. At the risk of sounding clichéd, things got busy, priorities changed, and other important things took the front seat – like family, after-school activities, work, and keeping a home.
At some point, for valid reasons, fitness stopped becoming a priority to me.
I forgot that I loved to sweat. I forgot how great I felt after a solid, early morning run. I forgot that too much chocolate after 7pm leaves me waking up with a very real sugar-hangover.
Oh sure, I would occasionally jump back into a fitness routine for a few weeks, but it would eventually fizzle out. Soon those other important things would creep in and take over everything else, even something I once loved like fitness.
Granted, sometimes this has to happen. In certain seasons of life you just plain CAN’T. And that’s okay. I’m not talking about those seasons.
But slowly, over the course of the past year or two, I experienced a complete paradigm shift. My whole way of thinking has been flipped upside down. Everything from how I view life, my marriage, my children, my circumstances, and yes, even fitness.
For example, my husband and I, as with most marriages, have had our ups and downs over the years. Being married at the ripe ol’ age of 19 and having 3 kids in 8 years can do that to you. I was talking to a good friend the other day about this and how happy we are now in our marriage. Not that we weren’t happy before, but these days we are consistently in a solid, peaceful, happy state. My friend asked me, what changed? I couldn’t answer right away, I truly didn’t know. But for the rest of the day I pondered this question.
I realized that nothing really changed. But my heart did.
God has been working in my heart for years, and I only just realized it. After years of praying for circumstances to change or this or that to change, something had been silently brewing in the background. Little did I know, God was working in MY heart. Not anyone else’s, like I expected. Not my circumstances, like I also once thought dictated my happiness.
No. Simply my heart.
Life is a gift. A true, blessed, gift. No one is guaranteed a single day on this earth. Any one of us could be gone tomorrow, and that’s the truth. We all have a terminal illness – it’s called death.
This heart-change has flowed into every aspect of my life, not just my marriage. It’s affected my parenting, view on fitness and health, and just life in general.
So back to fitness, because the relationship stuff is for another post, another day. I had a lightbulb moment, you guys. I realized how blessed I am.
I have the ability to get up early if the mood strikes and go for a quick run. I have the ability to put in the workout DVD and press play, and simply follow along, and – hey! – improve my fitness.
I can breath. I can walk. I can run. I can CHOOSE what I put into my mouth.
Simply put, I realized to never, ever, ever take my health, or ability to be fit, for granted.
You guys. This is a big deal.
None of us are guaranteed a single thing in this life. I can’t control my circumstances, my marriage, my children, my life, or even my health. But you know what I can control? I can CHOOSE to make the best choices I possibly can to ensure that I’m living and being the best, healthiest version of myself that I can be. For my husband, for my children, for myself.
THIS is where my passion’s at. THIS is my heart, right here.
As some of you know, I’ve been doing 21 Day Fix and I love it. It’s a quick 30-minute workout, the program is only 21 days long, but can be done much longer (which is what I’m currently doing), and there’s even a simple eating plan with portion containers included if it strikes your fancy.
(Me personally? I used the eating plan for the first couple weeks, but then decided to simply make overall healthier choices going forward for the same reasons I wrote about here).
I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been BETTER. I still love my treats, and I won’t give them up. It’s not realistic for me in the longterm and life’s too short. However each day has been an improvement over the last. And you know what? I’m 21 days closer to where I would have been if I hadn’t started at all.
There’ve been many days where I didn’t want to workout at all. Some of those days, I didn’t. But most of those days, I did. I reminded myself that getting to exercise is a GIFT. And that pushed me on. I pressed play. I kept going.
This post is about acknowledging my blessings. This post is about rediscovering my love and passion for fitness, not only my own personal fitness journey, but encouraging others.
(Seriously. Just ask my family members or close friends how many times I’ve tried to get them to join me on my latest, sometimes wacky, workout/diet/cleanse/program. I can’t help it, it’s just in my blood!)
It’s about not taking for granted my ability to MOVE. It’s about not taking for granted my health.
Because those things are not a given. It is God’s gift to me. It is a blessing.
So when I workout? I’m not just trying to burn the most calories or look great in a bathing suit or even lose weight….
I am praising God. I am thanking Him. I am giving Him all the glory for my ABILITY to do so.
And this? This right here is my heart. This is my passion. This is my gift.
What is YOUR passion? How do you view health and fitness?
Do you need structure and organization, but still crave daily encouragement?
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