Making the time to exercise. It’s not always easy, is it?
Some of you do it already, and you’re awesome! An inspiration, in fact. I’m positive there’s quite a few of you out there that are much more qualified to write this post than I.
However, I am the one writing it and would like to take the time today to talk to those of you that don’t get active regularly. To those of you that have a million other things on your list that take priority.
I was one of you until fairly recently, and I completely and totally understand, truly.
I’m a young mom, I was actually still a teenager when my first child was born. I went on to have two more babies in pretty rapid succession. Our financial situation was such that I had to work full-time the first few years of my boys’ lives. My cooking skills were practically non-existent so we ate out a lot. My “free time” was spent cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of babies, trying to enjoy activities with my family, relaxing and attempting to catch my breath for the upcoming week. Never, ever, did I spend my time exercising or being active. It wasn’t a priority, not even a little bit. I know this might come as a shock, but living this kind of life allowed me to pack on some serious pounds. Surprised? Yeah, I wasn’t either. But I was still young and had avoided the kinds of health problems that often accompany my kind of weight, so I spent 10 years not doing much of anything about it.
Something changed for me this year, call it a third-life crisis if you will. (As in, I hope 30 years turns out to be about a third of the life God has lined out for me.) Maybe it’s the two good friends that got fit and healthy last year. It’s possible my constant exhaustion in the midst of the simple stuff of life finally caught up with me. I’d agree the benign yet terrifying heart palpitations I developed, supposedly from stress & caffeine consumption, scared me right down to the bone. Maybe I woke up one morning and realized all that I was missing as the mostly sedentary mom of three adventurously active boys. Whatever it was, something changed, and it comes down to one simple thing……..
I needed to make time for exercise and activity.
I make time for reading, I fit in time for TV, I have time for blogging, and I allow time for Facebook. I have time to cook, I give a little time to cleaning, I find time to organize and I can take time for games. I dedicate time to school, I make sure I have time for friends and I cherish time with my husband.
We all have the time, and we’re given the responsibility to make the best possible use of it.
Am I being a good steward of my time if I let myself get so unhealthy that simple tasks take twice as long as they should? What good is my time if I can’t hike to the top of a hill to see the intricately thought-out and lovingly crafted forest fort constructed by three proud little boys. What kinds of joys am I relinquishing if I never take the opportunity to run wild through the house chasing a 5 year old that wants nothing more to be caught and tickled until his giggles are gone. I hope you can feel my heart when I tell you I was missing these things and I didn’t even know it.
Sure, I want to lose weight and look better….who doesn’t?!? Much more than that, though, I want the world of possibilities that opens up to me when I choose to lead a healthier kind of life. What kind of example can I be to my kids? How much use can I be to my community? How much more efficiently can I serve my family? What kinds of experiences and activities can we partake of? How many different kinds of people can I meet? It’s exciting to think about the difference I can be in the lives of those I encounter each and every day if I make the commitment to health and activity, wouldn’t you agree?!
Can I take at least 30 minutes every day to ride my bike, go for a walk, take a jog on my elliptical, pop in an exercise DVD, play soccer with my kids, or join a class at my gym? Can I watch my diet, lean on a friend for support, drink more water, and adopt a healthier sleep schedule? Can I ditch excuses, park further away while shopping, move more and make better choices one small step at a time? I can. I really, really can.
Let’s talk about it! What’s the main motivation for those of you who are already good about exercising regularly. If you struggle in this area, what’s your main obstacle?