Thoughts on Exercise

Hello, everyone!

So, thanks for all the likes and follows, it’s very encouraging! Today, you’re going to get to know me a little bit better.

I’m not severely overweight: I’m nearly 5’4″, and my average weight is around 120. However, as my first year of college came to an end, I had gained my “freshman fifteen” and then some. I continued to flirt with 140 and 150lbs until the end of my second year of college. I had zero motivation; I had just experienced a break-up, I was taking 15 hours of classes and working a part-time job, and a night class forced me to eat out once a week. I allowed these excuses to build up until April of this year. My mom and dad decided to begin eating a lot healthier and working out, and they pretty much peer-pressured me into joining them. I’m so thankful that they did! I made it my goal to get as close to 120lbs as possible.

Because this was right before finals, I figured I had better change my diet before I changed my activeness. I began replacing my breakfasts with healthy shakes, lunch was a large meal filled with vegetables and protein, and supper was usually another shake. Snacks consisted of yogurt, fruit, almonds, salsa, or guacamole. After one month of healthy eating alone, I lost ten pounds. Huzzah!

I swore to myself that as soon as summer arrived, I was going to wake up every morning at 8:00am and do some sort of exercise. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I stayed up late at nights reading, doing Internet stuff, you know, not resting my body. I celebrated the end of finals with a pizza from my all-time favorite pizzeria, I slept in late, and I slowly watched the motivational swimsuit I had purchased grow tighter around me again.

Around early June, something in me just snapped. Instead of sleeping in, I made a conscious effort to wake up, don my swimsuit, and swim laps around my pool. I made my shake, continuously drank water, and felt proud of myself for the rest of the day. This continued for a few more weeks, and here I am now, dripping in sweat from my morning jog.

For motivation, my mom and I do our best to work out together. Seriously, a work-out buddy guarantees you’ll lose more weight. Plus, we watch Extreme Makeover Weight Loss every time it comes on; there’s nothing like the sight of Chris Powell and hearing his riveting speeches to get you off the couch and on the floor doing push-ups!

My mom has lost so much weight. The other day, I caught her picking a recently-purchased blouse off my bed and trying it on. She grinned as she turned in the mirror. It fit her perfectly, and I was so happy for her! (Plus, our closets now have more options, since we can share clothes!)

As for me, I have my off days. I’ve been working a lot this summer (camps, job, fundraising, house-sitting), but I don’t want to go back to the weak version of myself. Old Caitlin bargained and made excuses for eating another slice of pizza or skipping a work-out. Old Caitlin allowed others to tell her she was “skinny enough.” For me, it’s not exactly about being skinny, although sucking in does get tiring. It’s about loving and respecting myself, and acknowledging that change is good and necessary.

On a spiritual note, I’ve noticed that God speaks to me more when I’m doing push-ups or swimming than when I’m in a worship service or Bible study. I think He does that so I’ll want to work out more in order to hear Him, but I know He wants me at my physical and spiritual best because He has an amazing destiny planned for me (and YOU!)

So, no matter how old you are or how much you weigh, know that it’s never too late to begin. Don’t lose hope, find a friend to encourage you, and remember that every body is different, so you may have to experiment with different dietary habits and exercises before you find your right fit. If you make the decision to change, don’t aim for a number or a look or to impress someone, but do it for your own sake. Do it because you deserve the change.

That post-workout swag 😀

Until then!
Caitlin

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