What A Privilege

My alarm blared music at 3:30 this morning. I slapped at my phone to try and find the right button to turn off the music coming out of the speakers. I threw back the covers and shuffled to the bathroom to start getting ready to go to the gym. Who is this person? My back said “No, let’s lie back down in bed.” My knees cheered my back on with encouragement. I told my body to hush. Having the ability to go to the gym this morning is a privilege, not a chore or a task.

Our bodies are amazing! No matter what your physical state is, your body does masterful things every day. My knees may be shot, and my back may be stiff, but I am able to go and move my body in a way at the gym that is leading towards a healthier me.

For so many years, the thought of exercising in a gym seemed like a punishment. A punishment for not eating the right food, a punishment for not being skinny enough, a punishment for the scale not saying the perfect number. How wrong I have been? In my last article, I touched on the fact that I love going to the gym, and most days that is true. Some days though, the mean little voice that lives inside my head starts telling me that I shouldn’t go and does its best to plant seeds of doubt, seeds of worthlessness, seeds of shame.

At this point in the morning now, my sweet husband is up and getting out of the shower and I am struggling to find a shirt that won’t show all of the things I don’t like about my body. I settle on shirt number three as he calmly continues to get ready. At this point, I am feeling frustrated and feel as if we are running late. I stumble to the kitchen and get my water ready to go and then on to the living room to put on my sneakers. I plop down on the sofa with an audible sigh. My negative thoughts are starting to consume me, and my hubby can tell. My back is to him, and he sweetly says, “This is going to be a good morning, we have the privilege to go workout.” The thoughts I had getting into the shower flood back into my mind, and I am ashamed that I have let the negative thoughts take over. He didn’t know that I had given myself that same peptalk this morning when I woke up, but God knew, and God knew I needed to hear it again.

The Bible is full of verses that support us being physically fit and physically active. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” Our physical bodies were made to bring glory to God. Exercising can be an offering of thanksgiving for the wonderful body God has given. Proverbs 31 is known as a blueprint for the Christian woman. Verse 17, supports the fact that God has empowered us with the ability to make our bodies strong. “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”

I encourage you to start a journey to physical activity, no matter where your starting point may be. I started at the lowest rung of the ladder, maybe even below the rung, and today I feel so much stronger. It has only been 4 ½ months, and I feel as if my life has been changed. Don’t limit yourself, you are capable of more than you ever imagined.

This week’s recipe is a delicious, summer vegetable side dish. We went to visit the Amish in Tennessee this weekend, and I now have an abundance of zucchini to use, so this recipe comes along at the perfect time. If your family doesn’t care for zucchini, feel free to substitute yellow squash or eggplant. Also, you can add cooked ground beef, turkey, or chicken to this recipe to make it a one-pot dish.

“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for a prize.”                      1 Corinthians 9:24-27